Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Weathering Another Storm; More Trees Fall, but Residents Take It in Stride

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Weathering Another Storm; More Trees Fall, but Residents Take It in Stride

Article excerpt

Byline: John Carter, Times-Union staff writer

It seemed strangely festive on a sunny, blustery day after Sunday's storm in Arlington.

With school out, kids rode bikes and skateboards as adults walked or rode golf carts about, checking the extent of the damage.

And there was damage. As with tropical storm Frances earlier in the month, Jeanne toppled some of the huge, spreading oaks cherished in Arlington neighborhoods.

The top of a utility pole in front of James White's house on Noble Circle South snapped off, leaving a tangle of wires and a transformer in his yard.

Though White knew he was facing days without power, he said he was philosophical about the experience. White, shirtless in the midday sun, pointed to JEA workers and tree cutters in the area.

"Hey, these guys are out here working hard," he said. "I'm just glad to know they're here. This is all nature at work. It will all work out. It's not really bothering me at all."

George Scrogins, who has lived on the riverfront in the Clifton area for 35 years, said the back-to-back storms surprised him.

"I've never seen anything quite like this," he said. "It just made a horrible mess both times."

He said his boathouse was damaged when the St. Johns River rose so high it left a debris line about 20 yards inland toward the bluff where his 130-year-old house sits.

"It was bad, but it could have been much worse," he said. "We were lucky compared to a lot of folks."

On Floral Avenue in Arlington, more than a dozen homeowners strung electrical cords out of their houses to neighbors across the street who were without power.

Meanwhile, Tee Richardson, a JEA overhead inspector, said she was concerned about people not taking the threat posed by downed power lines seriously.

"They just don't seem to respect the power in those lines," she said. "Kids just stroll around and treat this like it's nothing. I know people are curious, but they just need to be aware of how dangerous that can be."

Mark Mummaw, a naturalist at Tree Hill Nature Center, said the center suffered significant tree damage during tropical storm Frances, but fared well with minimal damage during Sunday's storm. …

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