47ºF

Jacksonville closes government offices as winter storm blasts area

Mayor Lenny Curry says buses will run, conditions permitting

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Mayor Lenny Curry announced late Tuesday that city offices will be closed for non-essential personnel Wednesday to minimize the number of people on the roads during the winter weather advisory that could include sleet and snow.

The city announced Wednesday that normal government operations will resume Thursday.

Jacksonville Transportation Authority will suspend services at 9 p.m. Wednesday. Service is expected to resume on Thursday, but that is subject to change based on weather conditions.

Customer Service representatives are available to assist customers until 8:30 p.m. at 904-630-3100 or TTY 904-630-3191. Follow JTA on Facebook and Twitter for schedule updates.

There are no changes to garbage collection and the Duval County Courthouse will be open.

Rain is forecast to start overnight and possibly turn to freezing rain or even snow during the day. 

"There will be severe weather, a lot of moisture, very cold, which could create ice on bridges, ice on roads," Curry said. "These are conditions we are not accustomed to in Jacksonville and Duval County, so ... we all believe it is important to keep people off the roads."

UNCUT: Mayor Lenny Curry's briefing on winter storm
Wednesday to be Weather Authority Alert Day |
School closings | Status of bridges, roads | SE Georgia  emergency | BLOG: Storm impact

Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Chief Len Propper echoed the mayor, urging people not to drive unless absolutely necessary.

"There are a lot of potential high-risk commute times over the next few days, so just some reminders about reducing your speeds, follow at a safe distance, make sure your lights and seatbelt are on, both hands on the wheel, pump breaks if you have a slick spot on the roads, and stay home if that is an option," Propper said.

Curry said anyone with questions can call 630-CITY from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday, and that time frame could possibly be extended. 

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said it will close all non-essential portions of the department on Wednesday, and the six zone substations will also be closed for the day. Normal visitation will also be suspended at all three detention facilities. All normal operations will resume Thursday.

The Florida Department of Transportation will spray state roads and bridges with a saline solution overnight and early Wednesday, which is designed to lower the freezing temperature of precipitation falling.

The Florida Highway Patrol has expanded its northeast Florida troops to 12-hour shifts to monitor roads. 

Nassau County has closed the Board of County Commissioners, Supervisor of Elections and Property Appraiser offices, but the Clerk of Court and Courthouse will be open Wednesday.

NAS Jacksonville announced it has authorized employees to report at 10 a.m. Wednesday to avoid driving during the morning commute.

Naval Station Mayport services will commence at 10 a.m Wednesday due to projected weather forecast of freezing rain. All tenant command personnel are encouraged to contact their chain of command for further reporting requirements.