Jacksonville forms committees protect city from storms, flooding

2 committee will send recommendations to City Council this summer

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville was hit hard during Hurricanes Irma and Matthew, the City Council and the mayor’s office are looking at a way to minimize damage in the future.

City Council President Aaron Bowman challenged two new committees with developing a strategy to better protect the city and its residents from storms and floods. 

"I think we realize doing nothing is not the right answer," Bowman said.

Bowman said city leaders are looking to get a real picture of how they can improve the city's drainage and flooding issues after the city's waterways commission sent the council a dire resolution last year.

"Are we building places that are bad? Are we taking care of drainage, can we harden the city? So, we have two groups going right now," Bowman said.

The Storm Resiliency and Infrastructure Committee will work on creating a more comprehensive and long-term flood plan with specific consideration given to development and infrastructure in the city's most vulnerable areas.  

The 12 members seated on that task force consists of city leaders along with a number of state and federal engineers and environmental specialists.

The other committee is the Adaptation Action Area Work Group. The 11 members of that group will focus on setting goals, prioritizing policy and funding for matters concerning conservation and coastal management.

"And I think the right to do this, and identify what we can do," Bowman said.

The Storm Resiliency and Infrastructure Committee plans to meet Feb. 15 at 1:30 p.m. at City Hall, while the Adaptation Action Area Working Group is set to meet Feb. 26 at 9 a.m. in the Ed Ball Building.

Both plan to meet twice a month over the next six months before they take their recommendations to the city council sometime this summer. 

At this point, the city hasn't made any statements on how they'll fund any potential projects.