After Beryl, city picks up, dries off

Customers without power down to 852, city still dealing with flooding, trees down

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Tropical Storm Beryl blew through Duval County Sunday night, leaving 350 trees and scores of power lines down and dozens of streets flooded.

Monday afternoon, Mayor Alvin Brown continued to ask people to stay indoors and off the streets as more bands of rain were expected and city crews continued cleaning up blocked roads and storm damage.

"Even though it's windy and the sun is shining, you still have to be cautious," Brown said.

Brown said about 1,000 city workers -- from public works to public safety to utility workers -- were working Monday, dealing with issues related to the storm and cleanup.

Streets closed as of 4:30 p.m. Monday included Wilson Boulevard near Firestone Road, Riverside Avenue between Copeland and Barrs, 7225 Elwood Ave., 4338 Garibaldi Ave., 4600 Sunderland, 5800 Lamoya Ave., 3137 Montcalm Drive, 100 block of Brookview Drive North, 5873 Oaklane Drive, 5744 Salerno Road West and 3400 Bessent.

City and utility crews say the winds snapped two concrete power poles on Wilson Boulevard about 11 p.m. Sunday night, knocking out power to nearly 3,000 JEA customers at an apartment complex and in nearby neighborhoods.  Crews say it would take most of Monday to replace the pole and restore electricity to the area. On Tuesday night, JEA said they had gotten the number of people without power down to 852.

About 1,000 FPL customers in Nassau County were also without power late Monday afternoon.

Residents who see downed power lines should exercise extreme caution and call 911

Gusts in excess of 40 mph were recorded over the Jacksonville area for at least eight hours, with Mayport and NAS Jacksonville recording gusts of over 60 mph.

The Mathews Bridge that was closed as the storm approached Sunday night and remained closed Monday night will also be closed all day Tuesday. Officials said an inspector looked at the scaffolding and cabling that is being used to paint the bridge. They hoped to have westbound lanes reopened by Tuesday morning, but JSO informed the media Tuesday morning around 3 a.m. that the bridge would remained closed all day.

The Wonderwood Expressway, where a couple light poles fell across the highway, has reopened.

Jacksonville opened an emergency shelter at the Legends Center at Soutel and Moncrief in Northwest Jacksonville for residents who depend on electricity or for anyone who believes it's necessary to seek shelter, but the American Red Cross said only a few people needed to leave their homes and use the shelter.

Duval, Clay and Putnam counties were under a flood warning until 11:15 a.m. and all counties in Channel 4's viewing area remained under a flood watch all day.

The city of Jacksonville's help line -- 904-630-CITY (2489) -- remained staffed over the holiday to help answer residents' storm questions and take reports of downed tree limbs and other problems. Monday evening, the Emergency Operations Center was downgraded to a Level 3, which means it would close at 8 p.m. and reopen at 8 a.m.

All but two incoming and outgoing flights at Jacksonville International Airport were cancelled Sunday night and more were either cancelled or delayed Monday morning, but JIA officials said they expected normal flight schedules to resume by mid-morning.

Information is available online at or by calling individual airlines.

The Jacksonville Transportation Authority suspended bus operations serving the Beaches on Sunday night. Monday morning, the JTA announced that all bus service was suspended for the day and would resume Tuesday morning.

Customers may call JTA Dispatch at 904-632-5542 for additional service information.

Garbage collection was canceled for Monday. City officials ask that residents do not place their trash cans on the curb because the winds could move them into the streets and garbage could become flying debris. Officials said garbage pickup will be pushed back one day for all residents (i.e. Monday's will be Tuesday, Tuesday's will be Wednesday, etc.).

Most Memorial Day events were cancelled Monday and Brown said the city's official ceremony will be rescheduled at a future date. The one large holiday event that was not cancelled was the Blue Crab Festival in Palatka, which had to take down the arts and crafts tents, but all other scheduled events were taking place.

The Jacksonville Suns game Monday night was cancelled.

Duval County schools said that no schools suffered any damage from the storm and all will be open on normal schedule Tuesday. Officials said to expect school bus delays.

Public pools will reopen Saturday.

The port will reopen Tuesday, but the Mayport Ferry will remain closed.

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