90 percent of Jacksonville streets cleared; homes seriously damaged

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Officials have announced that more than 90 percent of the Jacksonville streets are now open to traffic.

City damage assessment crews marked several homes unsafe for habitation and will continue their work on Wednesday.

The Northwoods neighborhood in Jacksonville is known for their huge, beautiful trees. 

But as Hurricane Florence hit those trees started to come down and destroy everything in their path. 

Walking through Northwoods, the devastation is apparent.

“Most of the stuff that we’re looking at here as far as the trees that are on the homes are probably pretty much destroyed or at least in a major category for repairs,” said Danny Bryan, Jacksonville Code Enforcement.

Trees are down all over the neighborhood, destroying lawns, houses and cars in the process.

“It’s just total devastation,” said homeowner Kelly Shanahan. “Northwoods is a wonderful community. All the neighbors help everybody. Everybody’s out in their yards today helping everybody. Cutting trees down, getting stuff out.”

But residents said they are grateful it wasn’t worse.

“I think if you look at the whole picture, we were blessed that Florence was downgraded,” said homeowner Celeste Cavanaugh. “And we got hit hard, but not the hardest we could have been. So we’re thanking the Lord.”

The city of Jacksonville doesn’t have an exact estimate yet on how long it will take to repair the damage.

“We’re looking at months,” said Bryan. “At this point we have a permit process. Those permit fees are being waived. And we’re welcoming the public to come in and ask questions, go tour website, things like that.”

Once you make that call to city hall, inspectors will come out to take note of your damage and get that 
Citizens are asked to self-report damage to their home by accessing the City website.

The report does not file a claim to help but provides an estimate of the damage so that it can be reported to FEMA.

That number helps generate support for FEMA operations and funding to our community.

Jacksonville Transit services will operate from 8 a.m. to 8 p.. for limited routes and buses.

Users should consult the TransLoc app or call 938-RIDE for more information.

The service is free through Friday.

Jacksonville’s Citizen Phone Bank will remain in operation from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday and will take questions from residents.

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