Tropical Storm Nicole highlighted a problem of repeat flooding

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Tropical Storm Nicole highlighted a problem of repeat flooding and what one state representative claims are a lack of attention from the city.

As Action News Jax Princess Jhane Stepherson reports -- Now the concern is shifting to what could be more problems down the road.

Repeat flooding in areas like Ken Knight Drive reveals a problem beyond high water -- and it’s getting the attention of neighbors and a state representative alike.

“This is happening too frequently and a lot of it has to do with the fact that, you know climate change and sea level rise occurring and so we have to look at a multi-layered approach,” says Angie Nixon.

Representative Angie Nixon also lives in the area -- She says because it’s prone to flooding, the city should consider building homes on vacant lots that are on higher ground for these residents.

The Southbank river walk has been submerged in water for nearly two months.

I’ve been reporting on this area for weeks and at times it’s been tapped off to the public. Today I see a gate has been put up to stop the public from going any further but as you can see that rule doesn’t apply to the St. Johns River.

Jax local Lewis Pep served 25 years in the navy and in his professional opinion, engineers and the city should think about putting the river walk on a floating dock. Adding that anything that lies under the on-ramp to the Main Street Bridge is always going to lose to mother nature.

I asked, “Do you think that maybe the city just needs to rebuild the bridge together? Well, that’s a good question. It’s a landmark and it’s been here a long time but at some point, they’re going to determine that the life span of the steel that thing was constructed from has expired,” says Lewis Pep.

Our first alert meteorologist Trevor Gibbs says water levels are lowering and there isn’t any big threat to the public. Still, there is minor flooding along the lower ends of the St. Johns River. And onshore winds later in the week could bring another round of minor flooding.

“I’ve been looking at the 2050 report of sea level rise. If we do not curve our carbon footprint it’s only going to get worse and more areas in Jacksonville that aren’t prone to flooding are going to be prone to flooding,” says Angie Nixon.

I’ve reached out to the city to learn plans for improvement in these flood-prone areas. We’ll keep you updated once we learn more.

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