TRAFFIC ALERT:

CONSTRUCTION I-95 SB off-ramp to Philips closed 

ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
68°
Few Clouds
H 76° L 61°
  • cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
    68°
    Current Conditions
    Partly Cloudy. H 76° L 61°
  • cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
    77°
    Afternoon
    Partly Cloudy. H 76° L 61°
  • clear-day Created with Sketch.
    75°
    Evening
    Sunny. H 80° L 62°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest top stories

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest traffic report

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest forecast

00:00 | 00:00

Local
JEA details lessons learned from Hurricane Matthew
Close

JEA details lessons learned from Hurricane Matthew

JEA details lessons learned from Hurricane Matthew
Photo Credit: Action News Jax

JEA details lessons learned from Hurricane Matthew

They’re making no excuses.

“Many things went right, but some did not,” says JEA CEO Paul McElroy.

The JEA Board gathered Tuesday to workshop the response to Hurricane Matthew. By and large, the utility feels they had a strong response, but McElroy says there were absolutely lessons learned and steps they need to take to improve if something like this were to happen again.

Perhaps the biggest change will be how power restoration deadlines are set. WOKV has previously told you that McElroy said they blew that process because, after announcing a time for “substantial restoration”, they encountered more tree-related damage than thought. Instead of “substantial restoration just three days after the storm, thousands remained in the dark for the better part of a week.

“In hindsight, from understanding where we were and where we are now, we should have held back on that call,” McElroy told the Board.

That ties closely in to one of the areas to address- McElroy says they can improve their initial assessment process, including getting more input from the field. He also wants the utility to improve communicating customer expectations in situations like this.

Additionally, McElroy says they will study how mutual aid was called on and deployed. Hundreds of linemen and tree crews came from across the country to help JEA in the aftermath of the storm, but only a portion of those were stationed in Jacksonville to ride out the storm and be able to get to work immediately.

“We need to continue to review the timing of the mobilization and the process of scaling up,” he says.

One area the Board and McElroy agreed to study- but seemed less convinced there would be imminent change- is whether to upgrade all of the City lines to move them underground. McElroy noted that a move like that takes serious cost-benefit analysis, because it could ultimately cost billions. Some on the Board pointed to the extensive tree canopy in the City as being the root of the issue, but acknowledged the City would not likely be willing to change that.

Aside from dealing with electric outages, a big problem JEA faces was sewage spills. McElroy says they had 67 sanitary sewer overflows over four days directly tied to Matthew- compared to a couple they normally deal with over a month.

Some of these spills were tied to generator issues, and McElroy says they will be reviewing whether they have enough generators and if those are deployed in the best manner possible. He added that they have the coverage required by the state and federal government, but want to assess if there should be more in order to meet local needs.

The good news, according to McElroy, is that 65 of the 67 sites have been cleared, and testing on one of the other sites is looking good.

“We’ll continue to test until those areas are restored to pre-storm condition,” he says.

In all, McElroy says JEA suffered about $35 million in damage. He expects that will be covered by a combination of federal and state dollars, along with some JEA reserves.

Read More
VIEW COMMENTS

There are no comments yet. Be the first to post your thoughts. or Register.

The Latest News Headlines

  • For the second time in less than 24 hours, police have swarmed the Las Vegas Strip after at least one person was killed in a shooting near the Cosmopolitan hotel and casino. >> Related: Burglary at Bellagio Hotel and Casino prompts lockdown on Vegas strip Police said Saturday afternoon that the situation was not an active shooter situation.  The suspect peacefully surrendered around 6 p.m., according to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. >> Read more trending news Around 11:30 a.m. Las Vegas police reported that they were investigating a shooting that occurred on South Las Vegas Boulevard. Authorities believed an individual who was on a bus that was traveling on the strip is responsible for the shooting. Police closed portions of the strip, and set up a staging area and a barricade. Guests at the Cosmopolitan resort were evacuated. Shortly after 11 a.m., KSNV reported that at least one victim of a shooting had been transported to University Medical Center trauma in unknown condition. At 1 p.m. Saturday, authorities reported a second victim had been killed. According to USA Today, police evacuated the nearby Cosmopolitan hotel and casino shortly after 1 p.m. “The shooting incident happened on the bus,” said Larry Hadfield, a spokesman with Las Vegas Metro police. “We had one single shooting incident with two victims. Both were transported to the trauma center and one is deceased.” Hadfield said police were negotiating with the suspect Saturday afternoon in an effort to take him into custody, USA Today reported. This is a developing story. Check back for updates. 
  • Las Vegas police are investigating a burglary at a retail store in the Bellagio Hotel and Casino after an incident that occurred overnight Friday, The Associated Press reported.  >> Read more trending news Police said Saturday they believe at least three people entered the store. It was not immediately clear what items were stolen. The store was closed at the time of the burglary.  Authorities said the suspects broke into a high-end jewelry and watch store, where they may have used sledgehammers to break into the shop's jewelry cases. A witness said she saw an armed burglar wearing a pig mask near a Rolex store. Authorities said they are reviewing surveillance tape, where they saw multiple suspects wearing “character masks,” ABC News reported. According to ABC News, the Bellagio was on lockdown for approximately a half-hour after the incident. Police initially thought at least one of the theives may have fired gunshots during the burglary, but later said they believed the sound of the sledgehammers breaking the jewelry cases may have been confused for gunshots. Guests fled the hotel and casino in the midst of the incident. No one was injured.  Police have taken one suspect into custody.  Portions of the Bellagio were closed Saturday as police continue to investigate.
  • A couple has been indicted on accusations that they murdered their deaf teenage son and then burned down their house to cover up the crime, the Associated Press reported. >> Read more trending news  According to the Chenango County Sheriff’s Office in New York, Ernest F. Franklin II, 35, and his wife, Heather Franklin, 33, of Guilford, New York, were charged with second-degree murder, arson and tampering with physical evidence. The two were indicted Friday on charges of second-degree murder in the death of their adopted son, 16-year-old Jeffrey Franklin, People magazine reported. Following an investigation of a fire on March 1 at the family’s 1,300-square-foot home, the couple was arrested. Investigators believe they set fire to their home to cover up the killing of their son. An autopsy determined he died prior to the fire, according to the sheriff’s office. Local law authorities have not said how or when the boy was killed. The Franklins got married in 2011 and adopted Jeffrey six or seven years ago, the sheriff’s office said. According to People magazine, Ernest is an Iraq War veteran. Heather wrote in posts on her Facebook page that she is pregnant. The Franklins are being held without bail. They entered a plea of not guilty. “People are asking themselves, ‘How could this happen?'” Chenango County Sheriff Ernest Cutting Jr. told People magazine. “Certainly for the public here, it’s a mix of anger and frustration and disappointment.” Just days before Heather Franklin was arrested, she posted an update on her Facebook page about how much she missed her son, who she called JR. She also informed friends and family that she and her husband had added their “needs” and “wants” to the CheckedTwice.com Family Gift Registry because they lost everything in the fire. A GoFundMe page was also established, but it has been taken down. The Associated Press reported that police who responded to a 911 call about 1:15 a.m. on March 1 found the Franklin’s house, located about an hour away from Syracuse, engulfed in flames. Jeffrey was inside and unable to escape the fire, according to the sheriff’s office. Authorities initially said the cause of the fire appeared to be a wood stove, the residence’s main heating source. “People are wondering how anybody could do something so brutal to a developmentally disabled and handicapped 16-year-old boy,” Cutting told People. “There are a lot of people who would have taken him. There are organizations that would have taken care of him. Why resort to that? … It’s just a terrible, terrible tragedy.”
  • North Carolina police said they have found the bodies of two missing children Saturday morning in Hoke County. >> Read more trending news  Fayetteville police had been searching for 2-year-old Serenity and 4-day-old Genesis Freeman overnight Friday. They were in their father's custody when they disappeared and he reportedly refused to tell police where the children were. Tillman Freeman, 30, was first charged with two counts of child abuse and child neglect.  When their bodies were found in a wooded area off of Highway 211, two counts of first-degree murder were added to those charges. The children's mother was in the hospital at the time the children went missing for an unrelated reason.
  • A residential neighborhood on the westside, near Timquana Park and Timuquana Country Club was the scene of a police and Hazmat investigation Saturday morning.  Jacksonville Sheriff’s Officers responded to Timuquana Rd. because a vehicle was left parked in front of a house with a sign that read, “Danger, stay back hazmat needed”. JSO says there was a strong chemical smell around the car.  JFRD Hazmat was called to the neighborhood and advised citizens to shelter inside their homes.  No evacuation was ordered. One person was found dead inside the car.  JSO Homicide Detectives are now investigating.  

The Latest News Videos