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Why can't you get sandbags in Jacksonville?

Bob Self
Florida Times-Union
Clay County Public Works employee Joshua Lovelace helps Middleburg resident Destony Jewell fill sandbags at Omega Park when Tropical Storm Elsa headed toward Northeast Florida on July 6, 2021.

Free sandbags are available in most counties to hold off the rising waters of Hurricane Ian. But not in Jacksonville.

Todd Smith, chief of emergency preparedness for the city, says the city's sewers are unlike the surrounding region.

"Sandbags in other counties are because they have a different stormwater management system, and in Jacksonville, we have a very comprehensive system. And sandbags if not used the right way can cause damage. And so in Jacksonville, we don't issue sandbags.”

Jacksonville residents can still acquire sandbags on their own from hardware stores.

Residents in Clay, Nassau and St. Johns Counties can receive free sandbags from local officials. You should check your local government website for when and where to get them. WJCT News partner The Florida Times-Union also has a roundup.

Most counties limit the number of sandbags available to each household.

Hurricane Ian is expected to impact our area Wednesday night, heading into early Thursday.

Reporter Raymon Troncoso joined WJCT News in June of 2021 after concluding his fellowship with Report For America, where he was embedded with Capitol News Illinois covering Illinois state government with a focus on policy and equity. You can reach him at (904) 358-6319 or and follow him on Twitter @RayTroncoso.