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Ormond Beach Observer Saturday, Aug. 1, 2020 1 week ago

Isaias expected to restrengthen to a hurricane overnight, Volusia to open four shelters Sunday

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A voluntary evacuation order for the barrier island and coastal mobile home residents will be effective at 8 a.m. Sunday.
by: Jarleene Almenas Associate Editor

Though Isaias has weakened to a tropical storm, the National Hurricane Center expects it to strengthen back to a hurricane overnight, and Volusia County is issuing a voluntary evacuation order for the barrier island and residents living in mobile homes near the coast, effective 8 a.m., Sunday, Aug. 2. 

The order is meant for citizens who do not feel comfortable riding out the storm in their own home, said County Manager George Recktenwald during a briefing on Saturday, Aug. 1. Four shelters will also open at 8 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 2, all located in the west side of the county due to the hurricane force winds expected to impact the east side. However, residents are being encouraged to shelter in place if possible.

“This is a smaller storm, however, it’s going to be much closer and may actually be right upon us on the coast," Recktenwald said.

Coastal Volusia County is under a hurricane warning and a storm surge watch. The National Hurricane Center's 5 p.m. advisory reported that Isaias is moving toward the northwest at around 10 mph, and that the center of the storm will approach the southeast coast of Florida Saturday night and move near or along the east coast of Florida Sunday. Maximum sustained winds have decreased to about 70 mph.

Volusia County Emergency Management Director Jim Judge said residents should expect to see low-end hurricane force winds along the coast around 11 p.m.  Sunday to 7 a.m. Monday, though tropical storm force sustained winds should arrive around 3 p.m. on Sunday. 

The coast could see around 2-4 inches of rain due to the storm; Inland, it could be closer to 1-2 inches. 

Bridges will close when Volusia experiences 39 mph sustained winds. 

“Everybody should be hunkered down by early afternoon tomorrow," Judge said.

Beach driving was suspended at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 1. Beach Safety will be flying a red flag over the weekend. 

Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood also spoke during the briefing, tying in via Zoom. He reminded residents to follow the weather closely and stock up on supplies and gas in case they have not yet done so.

“Don’t be complacent," Chitwood said. "If it’s a nonevent, great — but use this an opportunity to stock up as supplies.”

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