• Magnolia Gardens neighbors concerned about ditch, storm drain dangers

    By: Courtney Cole , Action News Jax


    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Parents say they were worried a child could be hurt due to dangerous conditions near a local school.

    A concerned citizen sent video to our Action News Jax Facebook Page, showing an opening in a fence leading to knee-deep water and an open sewer drain.

    The video was taken near Carter G. Woodson Elementary School in Magnolia Park.

    One person told Action News Jax he made multiple complaints to the city and nothing had been done. 

    Action News Jax's Courtney Cole reached out to the city Wednesday morning and by the afternoon, the gates were secured with a lock and chain, and the grate of the storm drain was fixed.

    James Butler lives on Kinwood Avenue, right off of Avenue B, in Magnolia Gardens.

    He talked to us before the sewer drain was fixed.

    "It needs to be closed up,” Butler told me.

    The unlocked fence that led to a ditch full of flowing water.

    It could seem like an adventurous invitation to kids and that's what Butler said is the problem. 

    "It takes a village to raise a child. Just to see them running back and forth over there -- it’s a concern,” Butler said.

    Since this is so close to Carter G. Woodson Elementary School, neighbors aren't just concerned about the ditch itself, but also what may lurk inside.

    “And maybe some type of reptiles or something coming. I did see a snake once about two weeks ago,” Butler said.

    Just a few feet away from the ditch is an open storm drain.

    “Kids are running around here, you know? Playing basketball and running after the ball — so sometimes they may not see the thing and just kind of run over in that area,” Butler said.

    We reached out to the City of Jacksonville just before noon on Wednesday and by 3 p.m., the Public Works department used a chain and lock to secure both sides of the fence.

    The grate of the storm drain has also been be re-attached properly.

    Two barricades have also been placed over the drain.

    We spoke to one neighbor who said she’s grateful to Action News Jax, because she’s been waiting for these issues to be fixed since the beginning of the year. 

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