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Military veteran leads JEA teams during Tropical Storm Nicole

Before Jackie Scheel was leading her team of over 200 water and wastewater responders during Tropical storm Nicole, she was a U.S. Army combat signaler.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — JEA crews are still assessing damage left by tropical storm Nicole, and hundreds of employees spent the storm responding to power outages and water issues. 

Leading one of those response teams was an Army veteran who helped guide the team along. With the storm arriving near Veterans Day, we are highlighting this leader for her service to the community and our nation.

“Military you call it a mission, here we call it a plan," Jackie Scheel, Director, water, wastewater and Reuse Delivery & Collection at JEA, said. 

Jackie Scheel has worked at JEA for over 30 years.

But before that, she was a U.S. Army combat signaler, at one point stationed in Germany.

“We did support completely to the, to the units that were actually performing the action for firing and missiles…then in 1990 my entire base, the Herzo base, deployed and went to desert storm and desert Shield. So that’s what we had prepared all year for," Scheel said.

Nearly 20% of JEA’s workforce served of currently serves in the U.S. armed forces, according to leaders.

Scheel says the preparation and organization skills taught in the military helped her effectively lead her team of over 200 water and wastewater responders during Tropical storm Nicole.

"We staff our crews, we get extra material, we support. Just like in the military with what I did with headquarters battery. We supported the mission for our front line folks. At the treatment plants, we make sure that we can supply them with extra staff that they need to maintain pumps and generators," Scheel said.

Scheel says during both Ian and Nicole, there were no sewage overflows in our area.

JEA suspended disconnections for nonpayment during the storm; disconnections will resume beginning 8 a.m. Tuesday, Nov.15.

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