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First Coast Connect

10/9/2017: Tampa Bay Times Jacksonville Flooding; Groundwork Jacksonville CEO; Cole Pepper

Monday’s “First Coast Connect” examined a Tampa Bay Times story that states Jacksonville could experience severe flooding if it takes a direct hit from even a weak hurricane. Corey Johnson of the Tampa Bay Times, Nate Monroe from The Florida Times-Union and WJCT’s Ryan Benk (01:07) joined in on the discussion.   

We spoke with the new CEO of Groundwork Jacksonville, Kay Ehas (37:08).  

Cole Pepper brought us the local sports news, including the Jaguars big win in Pittsburgh (44:01). 

Tampa Bay Times Jacksonville Flooding

An investigative report in the Tampa Bay Times says the massive flooding downtown Jacksonville experienced after Hurricane Irma was no fluke. Instead, a review of public documents, historical records, and interviews with scientists and engineers shows that Jacksonville is dangerously flood-prone. The Times report included an interview with a local historian that said there’s a history of neglect by city leaders when it comes to fixing infrastructure in Jacksonville’s black communities.  

The story found flooding in Jacksonville is expected worsen with a warming climate and more severe storms in future forecasts.

Groundwork Jacksonville CEO

Groundwork Jacksonville is a local group specifically created to clean and redevelop a local treasure in downtown Jacksonville - the Emerald Necklace. The group also works to convert contaminated land into parks, playgrounds, trails, and other public greenspace.

Cole Pepper

Pepper talked about the Jaguars big win Sunday against the Steelers that puts the Jaguars at 3-2 and alone in first place in the AFC South. The Jaguars are home Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams. The Georgia Bulldogs are 6-0 on the season after beating Vanderbilt. Both Florida and Florida State lost to LSU and Miami respectively. The Armada had a big win in Edmonton.

Kevin Meerschaert can be reached at, 904-358-6334 or on Twitter at @KMeerschaertJax.

Kevin Meerschaert has left WJCT for new pursuits. He was the producer of First Coast Connect until October of 2018.