JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — According to the city, Jacksonville serves about 900,000 residents. With so many people to protect, a number of first responder agencies and city leaders in Jax gathered this morning to talk about storm and hurricane preparedness.
Tomorrow is the official start of the Atlantic Hurricane season.
Action News Jax introduces you to Aya Osman. She’s an Orange Park resident and a recent High School Graduate. She’s also a cancer survivor, who received some help from the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund Foundation. A foundation that works to tackle childhood cancer.
A big part of the meeting is how will we fix flooding in Jacksonville, especially in San Marco. That’s an area that’s known to flood even during simple showers throughout the area.
The flooding in the area gets even worse when a hurricane comes through. Last September during Hurricane Ian a popular area that used to be used for fishing before it became prohibited is located right next to the St. Johns River on Lasalle Street.
The water from the river came above the cement wall, over into the street flooding it and eventually into some of the nearby homes.
In an effort to prevent future flooding in the San Marco area Action News Jax told you earlier this month when the city had its groundbreaking ceremony to implement a new drainage system. It’s called the Lasalle Pump Station, it’s designed to pump any overflow of water from a storm or hurricane back into the St. Johns River and out of these streets and homes.
San Marco resident China Malone says this pump station will be a great relief for locals here and Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry says it’s incredibly important.
“It floods there not only because of weather events but because of what is happening with the tide at certain times so it’s just relief for the residents that have lived there for several years,” Mayor Curry said.
“I think it’s important because it honestly should have happened a while ago and it’s an inconvenience when we have to evacuate,” Malone said.
The Lasalle Pump Station is a $40M project that is expected to be completed within the next 18 months. In the meantime, the city has already begun some of its hurricane preparedness methods.
For example, just yesterday the city and JEA cut down trees in the Oceanway neighborhood to prevent things like power outages in the wake of a storm or hurricane. JEA says safety is a top priority.
“Our cycles are two and a half years, so we will trim back a minimum approach distance. A safe distance between the tree limbs and the electrical wire, and the trees will have 2 and a half years to reclaim that space,” JEA Utility Forester Joe Anderson said.
The city and Action News Jax would also like you to be aware of hidden hazards during hurricane season. Hazards like Carbon Monoxide Poisoning from generators and electrocution often times hiding in flood waters water.
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