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Ormond Beach Observer Friday, Jul. 31, 2020 1 week ago

Category 1 Hurricane Isaias expected to stay offshore, no evacuation orders issued

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A hurricane watch is in effect from north of Deerfield Beach to the Volusia-Brevard County line.
by: Jarleene Almenas Associate Editor

Though Hurricane Isaias is expected to stay 70-80 miles east of Daytona, Volusia County Emergency Management Director Jim Judge said Volusia residents should expect wind, rain and occasional squalls.

Isaias, currently a category 1 storm with 75 mph maximum sustained winds as it passes the Bahamas, is the ninth named storm of the season. During a press conference on Friday, July 31, Judge said the storm is anticipated to come up the coast, but remain offshore. 

The county is updating its state of emergency, which has been active since March due to COVID-19, to include Hurricane Isaias at 5 p.m. Judge said this will be done out of caution. The governor has also issued a state of emergency for several counties, including Volusia.

“Mostly, the conditions that we’re anticipating are going to be along the coast," he said.

According to the National Hurricane Center's 2 p.m. public advisory, there is a hurricane watch in effect from north of Deerfield Beach to the Volusia-Brevard County line. Isaias is moving toward the northwest at around 16 mph, and the NHC expects a turn toward the north-northwest to occur. It is forecast to approach the east coast of Florida Saturday afternoon through Sunday. 

Judge said residents can anticipate squalls ranging from 50-65 mph starting late Saturday afternoon, and a potential for sustained tropical storm winds of 35-45 mph Sunday morning. At this point, no storm surge is anticipated to affect Volusia and Judge said there could be 2-4 inches of rain. Inland, that figure could be lower, with around 1-2 inches of rain. 

There are no evacuation orders at this time, and shelters are not expected to open. Though, Judge said there are 32 schools, and the Volusia County fairgrounds, on stand-by should a need be determined. 

To prepare, residents should pick up outdoor furniture or decorations that could be carried off by the wind, Judge said. 

In regards to the beach, Volusia County Beach Safety Public Information Officer Capt. Tammy Malphurs said residents should expect high tides and an intense surf over the weekend. Beach safety will be flying the red flag throughout the weekend. After Hurricane Isaias passes through, which Malphurs said could resolve the current soft-sand issues, Beach Safety will be monitoring for debris in the water and if needed, a double red flag will be flown, closing the beach to the public. 

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