Jacksonville, FL - Northeast Florida emergency management is in wait-and-see mode right now as we await the worst of the winter storm.
“We’re making sure that all the county agencies are aware of the weather,” says Nassau County Emergency Management Interim Director Traci Masau.
She says they’re expecting some ice beginning Wednesday morning, although the worst will be late Wednesday in to early Thursday. And in that time frame, the consensus right now is keeping your drive safe is the primary concern.
“We’re definitely concerned with the roadways,” says Baker County Emergency Management Director Adam Faircloth.
He’s expecting to have a better idea mid-Wednesday about what resources, if any, they will need to mobilize to prepare in response to the weather. Around that time is when Masau says Nassau County will make a decision on the safety of bridges, including the one to Amelia Island.
“Bridges and overpasses are more prone to freezing,” says Florida Highway Patrol Captain Keith Gaston.
Duval County has a close watch on bridges as well, although the icy effects are not quite expected to reach in to this far south of the Florida/Georgia border.
“Dependent upon the temperatures, it could really just be rain,” says Duval Emergency Preparedness Director Steve Woodard.
He says when they find out just how cold it will get tomorrow evening, they will have a better picture of what your morning commute Thursday will look like. Especially along the state line and those bridges and overpasses, there is a real threat of ice, however.
“If you don’t have to go, then stay put. Avoid driving if at all possible, the safest place to be is off the roads,” Gaston says.
But since it’s not easy to call out of work because of the potential for ice, Gaston says you need to drive slow and leave plenty of breaking room between your vehicle and the one in front of you. One of his main concerns is “black ice”, which you can’t really see, but sends your car in to something similar to a hydroplane.
You should also change lanes as little as possible, because Gaston says ice tends to form where cars are not driving- which generally speaking is along the traffic lines which you would have to cross in order to change lanes.
In addition to keeping your dial on WOKV, you can visit jaxready.com with any questions on preparedness and resources in Duval County. Nassau County is encouraging you to call their non-emergency line if you have any weather related questions at 904-225-5170.