Crews respond to downed trees, power outages across Jacksonville

Duval County assesses damage after tropical storm Hermine

By Bakari Savage - Reporter, anchor, Lynnsey Gardner - Investigative reporter, Kristen Cosby - Reporter, Francesca Amiker - Reporter, Chris Parenteau - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Tropical Storm Warning and Flood Watch for Duval County were canceled about 11 a.m. Friday and the state of emergency for Jacksonville ended at noon, as Tropical Storm Hermine headed north into Georgia.

The city experienced heavy rainfall, tropical storm winds and several downed trees in various areas during the storm, which made landfall as a hurricane along the Gulf Coast about 1:30 a.m. Friday.

City resources and teams, including the Emergency Road Access Teams and Public Works were continuing to address various needs throughout the community on Friday. ERAT, which was staged at 10 Fire Stations, responded to 39 service calls in various parts of the community.

Public Works addressed over 50 stormwater related issues and five malfunctioning traffic signals, located in Southside, Downtown and other core city areas. Citizens were reminded to treat malfunctioning traffic lights as four-way stops. 

JEA lineman working to restore power.

WATCH: Sky4 flies over Jacksonville after Hermine |
Reporter Alicia Booth gets drenched in San Marco along St. Johns River

Citizens are encouraged to call 630-CITY (2489) for any issue reports or information requests. 

Trees on homes in Northside, Westside

Tree trimming companies in Jacksonville were busy Friday cleaning up the aftermath of Hermine. 

A family was not injured Friday morning when a tree fell on their Northside home during Hermine.

The largest branch, which snapped at a sharp angle, could still be seen laying on the roof of the Renne Drive home near Eastport Road.

The branch is so large it went from past the front porch to the back chimney and was dangerously close to some power lines.

The damage on the inside included insulation hanging from the ceiling, and outside, siding was torn off and shingles were damaged, but the cords stretching from the poles were still intact.

The Red Cross is helping the man and woman who live in the home with their pets find a place to stay.

On the Westside, a tree limb went through the roof of Glenda Collier's home on Irvington Avenue and into a guest bedroom while she and here husband were at breakfast Friday. A neighbor called them, alerting them about what had happened.

"We went into the bedroom and I said, 'Oh my goodness.' And the limb was through the house," Collier said. "A limb came all the way through the roof and into the bedroom. So then, of course, we had water and it started raining. We have water everywhere so I had to put buckets everywhere."

Collier said the damage could have been much worse. 

"It could have completely collapsed the roof," Collier said. "We didn't get hurt."

Neighbor Bridget Dorry, who was celebrating her daughter's 5th birthday Friday, said she's thankful the old oak tree did not fall onto her home. She said she's now considering hiring an arborist to evaluate the trees in her yard.

"Definitely, they need to be looked at and make sure they are sturdy. I know they're going to tear down the other one right here," Dorry said.

Shaw's Tree Service was out for hours cutting the tree up and trying to get it off the Collier's roof. Workers with the service said its one of the biggest jobs they had Friday.

"A little bit of rain, wind unbalanced tree, older tree, hollow at the root system -- this is what happens," said Andy Smith of Shaw's Tree Service.

The workers said trees were down everywhere in Jacksonville from Arlington to Mandarin to the Beaches.

They also suggested homeowners take steps to help prevent trees from falling on their homes.

“Contact a certified arborist,” Smith said. “Have them evaluate the trees, the growth of the trees, how full they are… and to give an overall assessment of the tree in general.”

Rip current risk high

Rip currents will be stronger this weekend at Jacksonville Beach after Hermine, and lifeguards advised beachgoers against swimming all weekend.

They warned surfers and boogie boarders throughout the day Friday of the dangers in the water.

“We really want to remind people that no matter how good of a surfer they are, no matter how good of a swimmer they are, is that these ocean conditions are extremely dangerous, and they can really get anyone,” said Max Ervanian with Jacksonville Beach Ocean Rescue. “We're experiencing a little bit of the aftermath from the hurricane that just passed us. We have extremely dangerous ocean conditions today.”

Shelters close

While no evacuations were ordered for Duval County, two pet-friendly shelter locations were open overnight.
Shelter locations:

  • The Legends Center at 5130 Soutel Drive
  • Atlantic Coast High School at 9735 R.G. Skinner Parkway

The shelters were closed by 11 a.m.

City officials said the Legends center served 24 people during the storm.

Schools closed

Duval County announced Thursday that all schools and district offices will be closed Friday and after-school and extended day care will be canceled.

Earlier, Duval County Public Schools spokeswoman Laureen Ricks said that the district had canceled all after-school activities, including extended day and team up on Thursday.

She said the district will keep parents and staff informed through its robocall system and emails, the district's social media sites and website and through updates to the media.

Other Friday school closures in county:

  • The Bolles School
  • Episcopal School of Jacksonville
  • Providence School
  • University Christian School
  • Trinity Christian School
  • Riverside Presbyterian Day School
  • Lighthouse Christian Academy -- all eight locations in Duval, Clay and Nassau counties
  • Old Plank Christian Academy
  • Joshua Christian Academy
  • Beaches Episcopal School in Jacksonville Beach
  • First Baptist Academy
  • Duval Charter Schools of Southside, Westside, Flagler, Baymeadows and Mandarin
  • Duval Charter Scholars Academy
  • Duval Charter High School at Baymeadows
  • Parsons Christian Academy
  • St. Mark's Episcopal Day School 
  • First Coast Christian School
  • Jacksonville Country Day School
  • Cedar Hill Baptist Christian School 
  • Eagle's View Academy 

Other schools closed Friday:

  • Hodges Boulevard Presbyterian Church preschool
  • Pine Castle campus (group homes remain open)
  • Discovery Tree Academy (San Pablo, Oakleaf campuses)
  • Just For Kids Learning Center

Jacksonville-area business closures, adjusted hours Friday:

  • Commander, Navy Region Southeast, has directed that only essential personnel report to work on Friday, Sept. 2 at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Naval Station Mayport and Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Georgia. Personnel are urged to call their supervisor if unsure about their work status. 
  • Jax Federal Credit Union will delay opening until noon Friday.
  • JAXPORT will close at 11 p.m. Thursday and movable bridges are expected to close to marine traffic at midnight.

Other city closures

Officials said all city offices and facilities will be closed Friday.

The clerk of courts office announced Thursday that the Duval County Courthouse will be closed Friday, including the downtown and beaches branches.

City garbage and recycling pick-up in Duval County has been canceled for Friday and rescheduled for Saturday.
The Jacksonville VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic will be closed Friday. If patients need information,

please call the NF/SGVHS Hotline number at 386-755-3016, ext. 2915 or toll free at 1-800-308-8387.  If veterans have a medical emergency, please call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

Also, the Harris House Adult Day Care Center in Duval County will be closed Friday.

Other Friday closures, delayed openings throughout the Jacksonville area:

  • All Jacksonville Public Library locations will close at 6 p.m. Thursday and remain closed on Friday. 
  • All Jacksonville Police Athletic League locations are closed on Friday.
  • The Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve, including the Fort Caroline National Memorial and Kingsley Plantation, closed at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday and will remain closed until further notice. 
  • Cummer Museum is closed Friday.
  • All YMCA branches will close Thursday night at regular hours and will not reopen until 1 p.m. Friday. All YMCA before and afterschool programs are canceled Friday.

Residents can find more information on the city of Jacksonville/Duval County emergency management website. To reach the Customer Call Center, which will remain open overnight and through 7 p.m. Friday, call 904-630-CITY. Residents can call 904-630-2489 to report issues or request information. 

Important transportation information

The Jacksonville Transportation Authority operating on a Sunday schedule on Friday. To view the Sunday schedule, visit the JTA website

The Beaches Trolley and the Riverside-Avondale Night Trolley will not operate on Friday.

JTA will resume a normal schedule Saturday.

The St. Johns River Ferry, which runs between Mayport and Fort George Island, will be closed Friday and reopen Saturday.

The Florida Department of Transportation is working to make sure roads and bridges are passable after the storm.

"The district actually goes all the way over to the big bend area. So we're involved already over there with our folks in different areas where it's going to come in," said Ron Tittle, FDOT public information officer.

Tittle also pointed to a couple tools that drivers can use. Anyone on the road who sees debris or something dangerous can call *FHP (*437). Also FL511 is a tool drivers can use to find out where there are rough spots on the road before getting out into traffic.

The Jacksonville Aviation Authority urged anyone flying to continue to check their flight status before arriving at the airport. JAA spokesperson Debbie Jones said there were multiple delayed arrivals and departures. 

Remove standing water

Epidemiologists and emergency managers are reminding residents to quickly remove any standing water after rainfall.

Gov. Scott has said since before Hermine that Zika would be one of the biggest concerns after the storm.

"We talked about it for weeks before the storm," Scott said. "And now we've got to get back to it again. Any amount of standing water can serve as a breeding ground for mosquitoes. We all have to be a part of this. This is really to protect the all pregnant women and their developing babies. So all of us have to be active in getting rid of the standing water."

With the Zika virus already in Florida, scientists said getting rid of potential mosquito breeding grounds will help prevent the spread of the insects.

Florida State University epidemiologist Chris Uejio said that even though all mosquitoes lay eggs in standing water, those that cause Zika are especially fond of man-made containers.

“Literally, containers that we have made, like plastic jugs, tires, flower pot saucers -- they will home in on those, partly because they are close to the types of people they like to bite, but they are also great habitats," Uejio said.

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