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Ormond Beach Observer Friday, Aug. 30, 2019 1 year ago

Forecasting models show Dorian following Florida coast north toward Georgia after landfall

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Although the track remains uncertain, the storm may churn toward the Florida-Georgia border as a major hurricane, according to the NHC.

Hurricane Dorian will make landfall in Florida as a Category 4 near Fort Pierce or Port St. Lucie, then is expected to  turn north and follow the coastline toward Georgia, remaining a major hurricane of at least Category 3 strength for much of the way, according to a National Hurricane Center storm update posted at 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 30.

The latest tracking model from the National Hurricane Center is a departure from previous ones which showed Dorian making its northward turn further inland.

But the track may still change: "The track forecast by the end of the forecast period is highly uncertain, and any small deviation in the track could bring the core of the powerful hurricane well inland over the Florida, keep it near the coast, or offshore," according to the NHC message. "The models have not been very consistent from run to run in terms of the timing of the northward turn, but there are more models now indicating that the turn could occur near the east coast of Florida instead of well inland."

The storm was a Category 3 with winds of 100 knots as of Friday afternoon, and portions of the northwest Bahamas are under a hurricane warnings.

"Dorian is expected to be an extremely dangerous major hurricane as it moves through the northwestern Bahamas and near the east coast of the Florida peninsula in about 2 to 4 days," according the the NHC message.

The NHC predicts life-threatening storm surge and hurricane-force winds along parts of the Florida coast early next week, and the possibility of hurricane-force winds in parts of inland Florida. But it is still too early to say where the greatest danger areas will be, according to the NHC.

School closures: Flagler County and Volusia County 

Flagler County public schools will be closed, and all activities will be canceled, Saturday, Aug. 31 through Monday, Sept. 2.

As of the evening of Friday, Aug. 30, the Flagler County school district had not made a determination about whether to remain closed on Tuesday. "As soon as a decision is made, we will forward that on to our families, administrators, teachers, and staff through our various communication avenues," a Flagler Schools news release states.

In Volusia County, classes and all other school activities are cancelled from Saturday, Aug. 31 through Tuesday, Sept. 3.

Sand and sandbag locations: Flagler County

Sandbags and/or sand are available at the following locations, according to a news release from the Flagler County government: 

  • Bunnell: The city of Bunnell will have sandbags from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Bunnell Public Works yard located at 300 Toleman Street. There is a limit of eight bags per car.
  • Flagler Beach: Sandbags are at the Fire Department and at Santa Maria Del Mar.
  • Palm Coast: There is a limit of 10 bags per household at all Palm Coast locations. Residents can pick up empty sandbags (but no sand) during the hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at:  
    o  Palm Coast City Hall, 160 Lake Ave., Palm Coast 
    o  Palm Coast Utility Department, 2 Utility Drive, Palm Coast
    Then, the following locations have sand and sandbags at these self-service sand stations from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.:
     o  Indian Trails Sports Complex, 5455 Belle Terre Pkwy., Palm Coast
    o   Seminole Woods Neighborhood Park, 350 Sesame Blvd., Palm Coast
    o   Palm Coast Public Works Yard, 1 Wellfield Grade, off U.S. 1 just north of Palm Coast Parkway, Palm Coast.
    o   Holland Park, 18 Florida Park Drive North, Palm Coast
  • Flagler County:
    o   Malacompra South Beach Parking Lot, on Malacompra Rd
    o   Old Jail Site at Utility St and Old Moody Blvd
    o   Hidden Trails Community Center

Sand and sandbag locations: Volusia County

Ormond Beach: 

Ormond Beach will make self-serve sand available to as many residents as possible from sunrise to sunset Saturday, Sunday, and Monday at the following locations, according to a city of Ormond Beach news release:

  • Nova Community Center Site: 440 N Nova Rd
  • Ormond Beach Sports Complex: Next to ball field 5

Limited staff will be available to help with shovels and bags from 7 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. on all days. Sand will remain after 2:30 p.m. but residents should bring their own shovels/bags at that time, according to the news release.

Port Orange:

Sandbags and sand will be provided on Saturday, Aug. 31 at the following locations, according to the city of Port Orange website:

  • Southwinds Soccer Complex (1200 Richel Drive)
  • Spruce Creek Road Park (481 Central Park Blvd. (by the ball fields)
  • Coraci Park (5200 Coraci Blvd.)
  • Airport Road Park (6751 Airport Road)

Residents are advised to bring a shovel and will need to show proof of residency. Residents can fill their own bags or city supplied bags. The limit is 10 per household. If bringing your own bags, they should be small trash bags, and should be double-bagged, according to the city of Port Orange website. 

Garbage pickup

Palm Coast: Garbage collection has been suspended for Monday and Tuesday, and may be suspended longer. Residents with questions can contact the city's Customer Service department Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 386-986-2360 with questions about facility closures; sand and sandbag locations; downed trees; utility, stormwater, and public works issues and garbage questions. On Monday, the phone lines will be open for 24 hours until the storm has passed, according to a city government news release.

Ormond Beach: Garbage pickup will continue as scheduled on Monday, but is cancelled for Tuesday due to the Volusia County Landfill being closed. Pickup will resume when the landfill reopens.

Port Orange: Garbage and recycling service will continue as usual Monday, but will be suspended on Tuesday. For questions, call Waste Pro 386-788-8890.

Governor activates Florida Disaster Fund

Gov. Ron DeSantis sent a letter to President Donald Trump on Thursday, Aug. 29, formally requesting that he declare a pre-landfall disaster for all 67 counties in Florida, according to a news release from the governor's office. In response to his request, Florida has been approved for federal direct assistance.

DeSantis also launched the Florida Disaster Fund, Florida’s official private fund established to assist Florida communities as they recover from emergencies, according to the news release. To donate, visit www.volunteerflorida.org or text DISASTER to 20222 to make a $10 contribution.

Here's what else is going on with disaster preparation in the state:

  • The Florida Department of Transportation has swept all shoulders of state roads so they may be opened as needed for evacuation. All non-essential lane closures are being reopened.
  • Comcast is opening its network of almost 200,000 Xfinity WiFi hotspots throughout Florida to anyone who needs them, including non-Xfinity customers, free of charge.
  • Florida is not under any watches or warnings, and no evacuations have yet been ordered. Once evacuations are ordered, DeSantis will direct FDOT to lift tolls in the affected areas, according to the news release.
  • The Florida Highway Patrol will escort fuel trucks to ensure fuel reaches critical areas more quickly.
  • The state has 819,000 gallons of water and 1.8 million meals ready for distribution, has ordered another 250,000 gallons of water and has pre-deployed 860,000 bottles of water to counties.
  • DeSantis has activated 2,500 Florida National Guard troops. Another 1,500 are awaiting orders, and 15 Urban Search and Rescue Teams are on standby for deployment. In addition, three FEMA Urban Search and Rescue Teams are on standby and Tennessee is sending six swift-water rescue teams. 
  • The State Emergency Operations Center has activated to a Level 1, according to the news release.

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