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Hurricane Ian brought widespread flooding, damaging winds and unprecedented rainfall to Volusia County, and local officials have reported one death, rescues from flooded areas and thousands of power outages. The News-Journal will post updates here, so check back for the latest from East Central Florida.
Tracking the storm: The latest updates on Ian as it takes aim at South Carolina
'Historic' damage: Florida officials begin new phase of fight with destructive Hurricane Ian
Flagler Beach pier: Tropical Storm Ian rips off the end of the iconic Flagler Beach wooden pier
9:15 a.m. | Many roads still flooded on Friday morning in Volusia County
Volusia County officials are urging people to stay off roads unless travel is "absolutely essential," according to a county news release.
"Many roads are still underwater, and trees and powerlines are down," county officials said in a post on the Volusia County Emergency Management Facebook page. "TRAVEL SLOWLY and be hyper-aware if you have to drive on the streets! Treat the intersection as a four-way stop if you are approaching a traffic signal that is not operating. Traffic from all four directions must STOP. USE EXTRA CAUTION, as road conditions may not be what you're used to."
The Citizens Information Center is available for questions at 866-345-0345. People can also go to Volusia.org/PIN for information.
10:45 p.m. | Daytona Beach officials still conducting Hurricane Ian flood rescues
On Thursday morning and afternoon, much of Daytona Beach looked more like Lake Daytona. With floodwaters still lingering, rescue efforts are going strong, city officials said Thursday night.
Officers are out in force, using large trucks and boats to rescue people from flooded areas.
"We are making our way to get everyone that has called for help," city officials said on their Facebook page Thursday night. "Please be patient, we will be to you soon! In the meantime, please stay off the roads and avoid all standing water. It’s dangerous and honestly, pretty nasty. If you need rescuing, you can call our EOC at 386-671-5555."
The city of Daytona Beach is also asking residents to limit nonessential use of water. Rainfall has inundated the city’s sewer system, officials say. Treatment plants and about 60 lift stations are running at a limited capacity because of power outages.
Daytona Beach remains under a curfew through 7 a.m. Friday.
10:15 p.m. | More than 114,000 in Volusia County still without power from Hurricane Ian
As of 10 p.m. Thursday, Florida Power & Light is reporting that 114,970 of Volusia County's total 191,950 FPL customers are still without power. The company shows on its website that 35,590 Volusia County customers have had their power restored.
FPL is also reporting that 380 of Flagler County's total 66,910 FPL customers are still without power. The company shows on its website that 80 Flagler County customers have had their power restored.
That appears to be an error because Florida Power & Light's website stated that as of 7 p.m. Thursday there were 46,130 customers without power out of a total customer count of 66,910 in Flagler County.
9:10 p.m. | Ponce Inlet digging out from Hurricane Ian damage
Ponce Inlet’s emergency personnel labored throughout Thursday afternoon and into the evening to clear the small beach town's roadways. As of about 7:30 p.m. all roads were passable, but town officials warned that there could be hazards that develop overnight from saturated trees.
The Volusia County sheriff’s curfew is still in effect until 7 a.m. Friday. The Dunlawton Bridge remains closed, although it's expected to open at some point Friday morning. Ponce Inlet officials will announce the bridge reopening when it occurs.
Cleanup efforts in Ponce Inlet will resume Friday morning. The plan is to open town offices as soon as employees can get there.
Town officials will initiate a comprehensive damage assessment, working through Saturday.
8:45 p.m. | Hurricane Ian churned up waves that crashed through dunes just north of Flagler County line
Hurricane Ian churned up waves which sent the Atlantic Ocean crashing through dunes just inside St. Johns County north of the Flagler County line, according to Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly.
Staly said the breach was 50 or maybe 100 feet north of the Flagler County line.
"The ocean water breached the dune up there and was coming across A1A," Staly said. "Of course, the sand from the dunes was across A1A up there."
Water also filled the parking lot at the Whitney Lab in Marineland, a tiny town which straddles the Flagler-St. Johns county line.
"All of that parking lot was underwater, lapping at the building and then it was about to breach A1A from that side," Staly said. "It was close enough that it wouldn't take much more water to breach there."
Staly said that while A1A was passable in the Marineland area, he did not recommend driving through there due to the sand and the water.
The ocean also breached the dunes in the area of Washington Oaks State Park.
"From what I could tell there was no damage to A1A," he said.
Another hard-hit place was the Mondex, an area which is also known as Daytona North in western Flagler County.
Staly said a lot of homes in the Mondex are now surrounded by water. He said he saw one resident who had to park his car at the entrance of their driveway and then walk through 12-15 inches of water to get to their front door.
"Roads out there are flooded. It’s bad in the Mondex," Staly said
He said he anticipates the flooding around the county will get worse as the rain continues.
Staly said his home is off Crescent Lake, where the water is now two-thirds to his house. He said his house is on pilings.
"It’s not going to affect me, but I’ve never seen the water this high and this close to my house before," Staly said.
But on the positive side, Staly said there had been no reports of injuries or deaths due to the storm.
Staly also mentioned the damage to the Flagler Beach pier.
"It’s unfortunate because it’s kind of an iconic pier for Flagler Beach," Staly said. "It’s one of the few remaining wooden piers."
He said the curfew was in effect again tonight from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. and would be reassessed tomorrow.
He said that there are still many people without power and that would be a factor on whether to continue the curfew or not.
Florida Power & Light's website stated that as of 7 p.m. Thursday there were 46,130 customers without power out of a total customer count of 66,910 in Flagler County.
He recommended that people stay home and not drive around to look at the damage.
"There's lots of roads that have flooding," Staly said. "State Road 100 has areas that’s flooded, in some cases very deep. My recommendation to the community is stay at home, minimize your trips right now until we start the recovery process. Hopefully that'll be tomorrow."
He said an area on State Road 100 near the Bimini Bar west of Bunnell is very treacherous with at least 10 inches of standing water.
"It did the same kind of damage. I saw powerlines down, I saw street signs missing, I saw siding off of homes, shingles missing off of roofs as I was surveying the community today," Staly said. "So, it may not have been an official hurricane but we certainly had some of the results of a hurricane."
8:20 p.m. | Hurricane Ian brings 'almost epic' amount of floodwater to Daytona's Beach Street
Daytona's Beach Street has a 100-year history of flooding during major storms, but jewelry store owner Al Brewer still had hopes Thursday that the riverfront corridor had been spared the worst Hurricane Ian had to mete out.
He was wrong.
"It was almost epic the amount of water," said Brewer, owner of Evans & Son Jewelers on Beach Street near Orange Avenue.
He said the floodwater extended up to Ridgewood Avenue, making all the side streets connecting to Beach Street also impassable.
On Beach Street, the water flow looked like a river.
"There were waves," he said.
Brewer said the floodwater at Orange and Palmetto avenues was up to cars' windshields.
Brewer was hoping the new seawall and storm sewer pipes in Riverfront Park would help ease water rise, but they were no match for Ian. He said the water rose at least 6 inches along the front of his building.
Brewer lives in Ormond Beach about four blocks south of the Granada Bridge, and when the weather calmed down for a while in the afternoon he got in his large pickup truck and headed south on Beach Street.
"I made it three blocks and then it was flooded," he said. "Trees were down everywhere.
He had to shift over to U.S. Highway 1, and eight of the 10 intersections he drove through had traffic lights that weren't working. He also saw trees strewn across U.S. 1.
Once he was downtown, he tried every path he could think of to get to his shop: International Speedway Boulevard, Orange Avenue, the rear parking lot, Magnolia Avenue. Nothing worked.
"In 45 years that's the first time I didn't make it to my building," Brewer said.
He's hoping by Friday morning the water will have receded enough for him to check out his shop.
He's not worried about the floodwater creeping up into his business since it's one of the few Beach Street stores that has its first floor a few feet above the sidewalk. But he still wants to check for other types of damage and make sure everything is secure.
7:09 p.m. | Hurricane Ian is already worse than 'a 100-year storm event' for rain, and it's not over
Volusia County officials are urging people to stay in a safe place and avoid traveling because roads aren't safe amid widespread flooding and damage, and more wind and rain are expected as Hurricane Ian's outer bands hit the area, according to a county news release.
Volusia County Public Works Director Ben Bartlett said Hurricane Ian has already been an unprecedented storm for rainfall in Volusia County.
“A 100-year storm event is roughly 11 inches of rain over a 24-hour period,” Bartlett said. “Ian just dropped more than double that amount across Volusia County. Do not take the risk driving into a flooded area, turn around, don’t drown.”
Volusia County is under both a tropical storm warning and a flood warning. Officials expect 1 to 3 more inches of rainfall tonight with tropical storm-force winds still possible.
County officials also urged people to observe the following safety advice:
Standing water, downed trees and other debris make roads dangerous and impassible. Public works crews will start conducting assessments and cleaning after the storm has passed. Staying off roads helps create a safer working environment for emergency crews.
If people have to be on the road, drivers should remember that some traffic signals might not be working. When approaching an intersection where the traffic light isn’t working, it should be treated as a four-way stop.
Ocean currents and waves are extremely dangerous right now, and people should not go in the water.
People should assume a downed power line is live and should not touch it or go near it.
People should never use a generator indoors or outside near windows, vents or air intakes that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors. This could be fatal. Also, proper ventilation is critical to reducing the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning from a generator’s engine exhaust. And when using one, people should be sure to maintain plenty of air flow space around the generator.
5:24 p.m. | Part of Flagler Beach pier torn off in Tropical Storm Ian
Tropical Storm Ian tore off the end of the Flagler Beach pier, carrying away some history for the many who fished or simply took a walk on the iconic wooden pier.
Ian became the latest storm to batter the pier. Hurricane Irma damaged the pier in 2017.
And the year before Irma, Hurricane Matthew tore off 160 feet from the pier’s end. The damage from Matthew closed the pier for more than eight months and cost the city $917,917 to repair.
Now, whether it will ever reopen again is a question since Flagler Beach was already in the process of replacing the wooden pier with a concrete one. Plans called for the wooden pier to be closed next year and taken down to make way for its concrete replacement.
People were braving the wind and rain on Thursday to snap pictures and take videos of the damage. Some snapped selfies of themselves with the damaged pier in the background.
The damage was apparently discovered Thursday by a Flagler Beach police officer.
It was a somber occasion for Felix Coffman, 57, of Palm Coast.
Coffman said he has lived in the area since the early 60s. He occasionally fished at the pier and caught a variety of fish, including redfish, cobia and sharks.
“It’s sad to see it, you know. This has been here a long time. I’ve been here a long time. It’s been here since before I was here,” Coffman said.
“It’s always sad to see a landmark get tore up,” Coffman said.
Tom Hoffman,65, who is a part-time resident of Flagler Beach, said he fished at the pier every year he comes down from Ohio.
“It’s a great fishing spot,” Hoffman said. “It’s kind of sad the way the pier is getting tore up and the end’s been tore off again. Who knows what’s going to happen from here.”
Hoffman said the old wooden pier had sentimental value but maybe now this damage will speed up its planned replacement by a concrete pier. ― Frank Fernandez
4:57 p.m. | Volusia County officials urge people to stay home
Volusia County officials are still urging residents to stay off the roads as rescue crews continue their operations throughout the flooded cities.
“Property and material possessions can be replaced, but your life cannot,” said Kevin Captain, community information director for the county, at an afternoon press conference at the Emergency Operations Center in Daytona Beach. “Over the last few hours, you may have noticed a slight decrease in both the intensity of the rain and the wind; however, officials anticipate another round of rainfall late this evening extending into the early hours of tomorrow.”
Many roads have high water levels, “making driving conditions impossible or extremely dangerous.”
City managers countywide are reporting widespread flooding, Captain said.
The Daytona Beach International Airport remains closed, Captain said, while reports of flooding at the Daytona International Speedway have not yet been confirmed.
As of 1 p.m. on Thursday, 361 residents sought assistance from county shelters — an increase from the morning count of around 300.
“We are aware some residents will be displaced from their homes as a result of the storm,” he said. “We are coordinating efforts with the American Red Cross and other community partners to establish temporary housing arrangements for these citizens.”
The county is also working on providing these residents long-term shelter assistance.
As of 2 p.m., more than 247,000 Volusia County customers are currently without power.
Linda Webster-Dubea, regional manager for Florida Power & Light, said at the press conference that the company is trying to restore power “as safely and as quickly as possible.”
“Crews have been working and will continue to work around the clock to restore service,” Dubea said. “We have mobilized 37 staging, parking and processing sites to support this effort.”
Volusia County Emergency Management Director Jim Judge said the good news is that Tropical Storm Ian is moving off the coast, but it will continue to produce additional gusts later in the afternoon and evening.
“We can expect an additional 1 to 3 inches of rain tonight,” Judge said.
Tomorrow and over the next few days, Judge added, “we are going to have drier conditions.”
“Temperatures are going to be in the 80s and possibly down into the 60s at night, so much better weather ahead,” Judge said. “And we are hoping the water will subside and we can get back out there again.”
Fire rescue, beach safety and other first responders are still in the “response mode,” Judge said, adding that “as we move forward, we are going to get into the recovery phase, and that’s still a day or two away.”
Judge encouraged residents to continue monitoring the county’s storm information as it leaves the area.
For updates, visit volusia.org/pin or call the Citizens’ Information Center at 866-345-0345.
Resources for displaced residents include the American Red Cross at redcross.org and FEMA’s website at ready.gov. ― Brenno Carillo
4:36 p.m. | Tropical Storm Ian flooding causes washout in Deltona
A deluge of water caused a washout on Gatewood Drive in Deltona between Branchville Drive and Lynnhaven Street, Deltona officials confirmed shortly before 4 p.m. Thursday.
Chris Reed, a lifelong resident of the West Volusia County area, recorded a video Thursday morning of the heavily flooded area and posted it on Facebook. The video had a few thousand views by the afternoon.
A few miles north of Reed, near the intersection of Fifer Drive and Beckwith Street, resident Dena Ingram looked outside her parent's home and saw Thursday what she described as "a raging river." ― Katie Kustura
4:22 p.m. | Tipsy Taco sign goes down in Tropical Storm Ian
Strong wind gusts from Tropical Storm Ian toppled the pole sign for the beachside Tipsy Taco Cantina restaurant at 746 S. Atlantic Ave. in Ormond Beach on Thursday.
Owner Michael Lucas who lives four blocks away made the discovery at 1:30 p.m., when he decided it was finally safe enough to venture from his home to check on the restaurant.
"I wanted to make sure the building was secure and that the power was still on," he said, noting that he lost power at his home.
Lucas was relieved to find the restaurant's electrical system running and that the refrigerator was still on.
"I have a lot of perishables that would have had to be thrown out if the restaurant had lost power," he explained.
"We plan to reopen Tipsy Taco tomorrow (Friday) at noon," he said, adding, "All in all, it could've been a lot worse."
Lucas wasn't so lucky when he went to check on the other beachside restaurant he owns: the Big Tunas Bar & Grill down the road at the Bellair Plaza Shopping Center in Daytona Beach.
He found the shopping center's parking lot completely flooded and that his restaurant there had lost power.
"Lost power (but) no visible damage so far," he wrote in a text message shortly before 4 p.m.
Lucas said he hoped to reopen Big Tunas on Saturday, "if we get power restored." ― Clayton Park
4:05 p.m. | Daytona Army vet rescues woman from flooded car
Daytona Beach residents Liz and Richard Callahan were surprised to see a woman trapped in her car in the rising flood waters caused by Tropical Storm Ian in front of their home near the intersection of Nova and Beville roads on Thursday morning around 10:30.
"My husband is an Army veteran and immediately went into action to rescue her," said Liz Callahan, the owner of Liz Callahan Studio Sessions Salon.
Fortunately, the woman, who lives a few blocks away from the Callahans, was successfully extracted from the car and is now back in her home, according to Liz Callahan.
"She was frantic. Her home had lost power and she was trying to get to her boyfriend's house in Palm Coast," she said.
The floodwaters at the time of the woman's rescue were waist-high deep and have since risen even more, said Liz Callahan, who said as of mid-afternoon her and her husband's home remained high and dry even though it lost power on Wednesday night. The couple have a generator.
"The (woman's) car is still sitting in front of my house," Liz Callahan reported.
Richard Callahan is currently a student at the International Academy where he is studying to become a barber. ― Clayton Park
3:35 p.m. | Edgewater reports about 25 Tropical Storm Ian rescues
The city of Edgewater announced in a press release Thursday afternoon that many of the city’s streets have “some level of flooding and some are impassable at this time.”
City spokesperson Jill Danigel reminded residents that driving pushes the water into nearby homes and urged them to stay put.
“The city’s fire and police departments have use of several high clearance vehicles,” Danigel said. “At this time they are being used to access residents experiencing serious medical emergencies. Approximately 25 rescues from homes or flooded vehicles have been made through the combined efforts of Edgewater Police and Fire Rescue Departments.”
Danigel added that “all stormwater drainage systems and major drainage canals are functioning and clear of obstructions but are inundated by the tremendous amount of rainfall.”
The city’s fire rescue crews have responded to 106 incidents since the storm began. They are taking residents who have evacuated due to medical concerns to the New Smyrna Beach City Gym at 1000 Live Oak St.
“Crews from all city departments continue to conduct damage assessment throughout the community and of city infrastructure and facilities,” Danigel said. “Due to standing water and continuing high winds, it is not safe for crews to begin clearing blocked roadways.― Brenno Carillo
3:29 p.m. | Beach Street business owner reports flooding
A few Beach Street business owners said early Thursday afternoon that so far the flooding hasn't been catastrophic, but they're waiting to see what happens when high tide comes in at 3 p.m.
Al Brewer, owner of Evans & Son Jewelers on the Daytona riverfront, said he hadn't been to his shop yet but was relieved to hear that so far the water rise is mostly minimal.
"I think the new $3 million seawall and the newly raised elevation of the park helped," Brewer said.
He said he did hear from other downtown business owners that a few side roads were flooding.
Brewer noted that he saw pictures of flooding in front of Holly Hill City Hall on Ridgewood Avenue that appeared to be 3 feet deep.
Tim Minnig, owner of the Davidson Brothers shop on Beach Street that sells citrus fruit and gourmet gifts, said early Thursday afternoon that the water had gotten as high as 4 inches on the side of his building.
"It was 5 or 6 inches earlier," Minnig said. "It's flowing south now."
He said earlier Thursday the raised median on Beach Street was under water. But the water is still high enough that he said he was dreading the people who will drive past his business too quickly and push water toward his small first-floor shop.
He's been nervous because nearly every business on Beach Street from Orange Avenue to Fairview Avenue flooded in 2017 when Hurricane Irma blew through. Only the small handful of buildings raised above street level escaped water intrusion, he said.
His shop was swimming in 2 feet of water. But he said the water receded quickly after Hurricane Irma passed by so he was able to get the water out quickly and minimize damage to his flooring and walls.
J. Hyatt Brown said his new Brown & Brown insurance company office tower on Beach Street that's raised 8 feet above the street appears to be fine. There was some water intrusion on the 10th and 11th floors, Brown said.
He said he heard that at about 9 a.m. or 10 a.m. Thursday water was spilling over the Halifax River seawall and flowing onto the east side of Beach Street.
Brown and his wife donated tens of millions of dollars to remake Riverfront Park with everything from new landscaping to swings and benches to plazas. He said a few trees in the park were topped by the wind, but the ranger station building seems to have escaped any water intrusion. ― Eileen Zaffiro-Kean
3:13 p.m. | Daytona Beach Shores residents ride out storm, describe Tropical Storm Ian damage
As Ian approached the state on Wednesday, Debra Smith and her husband, Doug, were in awe of their bird’s eye view of twisting palm trees and snarling surf from their 21st-floor unit at the landmark Peck Plaza in Daytona Beach Shores.
A day later, as hurricane force gusts continued a destructive 24-hour assault the beachside, the Smiths had seen enough.
“This storm is a beast,” Debra said. “This is the worst thing I’ve ever seen.”
From the couple’s 21st-floor vantage point, they have watched in horror as Ian’s relentless rain and winds left a deep hole in the concrete swimming pool deck at the neighboring Holiday Shores Beach Resort timeshare and hotel, just to the north on Atlantic Avenue.
At Peck Plaza, the pounding surf tore apart the condominium’s steps from its outside deck to the beach, pushed ocean water into the ground-floor parking garage and tossed sand over the condo's sea wall to coat the tennis courts outside.
The public beach access ramp south of the tower is now littered with the debris of docks washed away from oceanfront homes farther south on State Road A1A, Smith said.
“I’m on 21st floor, so I can see all those fancy houses to the south of me along the beach, and every one of their docks are torn up,” she said. “A lot of them are gone. One is just hanging on, all collapsed and broken up.”
Although the Smiths’ unit on the southeast side of the tower sustained no damage, water is seeping through newly installed sliders in units on the northeastern part of the building, she said.
“No windows are broken, because the building has 200-mph (wind resistant) windows, but when you have sliders that open and you’re having 90 mph gusts and nonstop rain for 14 hours, it’s going to happen,” she said.
The Smiths rode out hurricanes Irma and Dorian on Daytona’s beachside, but Ian has been the most frightening experience yet, Debra said.
“Unless you’ve lived through one of these things, you have no idea what the sound is like,” she said. “It’s like there’s a ghost that’s sitting in a creaking rocking chair. That, on top of the sound of the wind. It's a scary storm and I cringe at what it’s done to the other side of the state, if this is what we’re taking, this kind of beating.” ― Jim Abbott
3:06 p.m. | Flagler Beach pier damaged
In Flagler Beach, county emergency officials reported damage to the end of the pier as a result of the high and pounding surf on Thursday, the National Weather Service in Jacksonville said.
The public reported the surf was tossing erosion control rocks over the beachside highway State Road A1A. At Pellicer Creek near Marineland, the tide gauge reached a height of 4 feet over the high water mark, which represents major flooding of the Intracoastal Waterway, as a result of storm surge. A Weatherstem camera showed flooding of the University of Florida's Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience. ― Dinah Voyles Pulver, USA TODAY
2:55 p.m. | Power outages spread
Power companies reported 252,258 outages in Volusia County and 36,747 in Flagler County as of about 2 p.m. Thursday.
2:42 p.m. | DeLand officials report flooding, ask people to reduce water use
A post Thursday from the DeLand Fire Department showed significant flooding at Earl Brown Park at 750 S. Alabama Ave. due to the unprecedented rainfall.
Also, social media posts from the City of DeLand made shortly after 1:30 p.m. asked residents “to reduce water usage to allow our wastewater systems to catch up.”
“Please reduce toilet flushing, showering, washing dishes, etc. at this time for the next 48 hours,” the post states.
The city said there were no known issues with its potable water system, so the water remains safe to drink and doesn’t need boiling at this time. ― Katie Kustura
2:18 p.m. | Flagler County urges more people to evacuate
Flagler County Emergency Management is urging residents in the Bulow Mobile Home Park, Flagler Beach Polo Club West, Bulow Woods, Seaside Landings, Flagler Beach Polo Club to evacuate due to significant flooding expected in your area.
Flagler County is also again asking residents off of Lambert Avenue and Palm Drive to evacuate, an area which had been in the county’s first evacuation order. The county said flooding in the area could potentially impact homes and could be severe enough that emergency vehicles may be unable to reach residents.
The flooding will peak overnight so residents are urged to leave as soon as possible. The county encourages them to stay with friends or relatives but stated that the shelter at Rymfire Elementary School at 1425 Rymfire Drive in Palm Coast is open for new arrivals. ― Frank Fernandez
1:46 p.m. | Tropical Storm Ian rips off motel roof
Tropical Storm Ian ripped off the roof at the Sage 'n Sand Motel, located at 3059 S. Atlantic Ave. in Daytona Beach Shores, Thursday, Sept. 29,
1:40 p.m. | Flash flood warning issued for Palm Coast
The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood warning for Palm Coast near Belle Terre Parkway, according to Will Corless, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Jacksonville. Corless said that such warnings do not have more precise locations, such as a cross street or specific area of Belle Terre Parkway.
The flash flood warning is in effect until 3:15 p.m. and the flood warning until 6 p.m. He said that five to 10 inches of rain had fallen in the area and additional amounts of two to four inches were possible. ― Frank Fernandez
1:33 p.m. | Daytona Beach fire chief: Midtown residents got stranded while evacuating
Daytona Beach Fire Chief and Assistant City Manager Dru Driscoll said there is some of the worst flooding in Daytona Beach he's ever seen.
"This is probably some of the most damage I've seen in 23 years of service," Driscoll said Thursday.
He said he's seen damage to roofs, downed trees and extensive flooding. The Midtown neighborhood between Nova Road and the railroad tracks was especially hard hit, he said.
"The Nova Road canal has crested," he said.
The Beach Street riverfront is also struggling with high water.
When high tide comes in at 3 p.m., the flooding will probably worsen in the downtown area, Driscoll said.
Driscoll is at the fire department's Station 1 on Beach Street, and he said he and his crew will probably have to leave before 3 p.m. because of the rising flood water.
Pelican Bay roads are also flooded, Driscoll said. He said City Commissioner Stacy Cantu told him that in her over two decades living there, she's never seen such high water in the neighborhood south of Beville Road.
Driscoll said a lot of people tried to evacuate from Midtown after the storm started and got stranded in high water. He said he hadn't heard any reports of injuries or deaths.
When the storm subsides, police and firefighters will do a more thorough assessment, he said.
Beach Street business owner Tammy Kozinski said she's stuck on the beach side because the bridges are closed and she hasn't been able to check her coffee shop yet.
She said the building's owner told her that the power went out at 6:30 a.m. Thursday morning.
"I have copious amounts of food there that will only last so long," she said.
The owner of her building said he was going to check the property at noon to assess the flooding.
Midtown resident Cynthia Slater said her street, Kottle Circle, is flooded.
"There are lots of evacuations on this street," Slater said. "Some neighbors are stranded and can't get out (including a mother with two or three children and a bed-ridden man in another house on the street)."
Slater said she evacuated Thursday morning when the water started to come up to her front door.
"I'm in Jacksonville, but I know my house as well as others on the street was flooded," she said.
She said she couldn't drive on the street. She had to drive in the neighbor's yard. ― Eileen Zaffiro-Kean
12:38 p.m. | Flagler County urges Woodlands residents to evacuate
Flagler County Emergency Management is urging residents in the Woodlands to immediately evacuate. The Woodlands is in Zone C.
“We urge residents within the Woodlands neighborhood to leave the area due to updated expectations of significant flooding of your neighborhood streets, with the potential to impact your home,” said Emergency Management Director Jonathan Lord. “Additionally, as the flooding progresses it is possible that emergency vehicles will no longer have access to your neighborhood.”
The county is encouraging Woodlands residents to stay with friends or relatives outside the Woodlands or go to the public shelter at Rymfire Elementary School, 1425 Rymfire Drive, Palm Coast, which just opened to the general population, according to a press release.
Residents are encouraged to stay with friends or relatives outside of the Woodlands or go to the public shelter at Rymfire Elementary School that just opened to the general population.
Residents are asked to leave as soon as possible as peak flooding will occur overnight.
Residents are encouraged to bring their own bedding, single or twin-size inflatable mattresses are preferred due to the space limits.
They should also bring a five-day supply of all medications, blankets, pillows, extra chargers and batteries for electronics, headphones and important documents. They should also bring snacks and comfort food but meals will be served.
No weapons, alcohol or illegal narcotics are allowed in the shelter. ― Frank Fernandez
12:18 p.m. | Volusia County press conference set for 3 p.m.
Volusia County government officials will hold a press conference at 3 p.m. at the Emergency Operations Center in Daytona Beach to talk about the impacts of Tropical Storm Ian and the county's response, as well as safety information for residents, according to a county news release.
12:09 p.m. | Volusia resident reports 'extreme' flooding
The City of Deltona disseminated a release about Ian's impacts today.
"Residents of Deltona, we are aware of the flooding in our city, and thank you all for informing us about the high water conditions," the release states. "Hurricane Ian is an unprecedented weather event with extreme amounts of rainfall and wind, resulting in new records of flooding throughout the State of Florida. Know that our City departments are expediting all their efforts to help residents during this time."
Pamela Hoover Rutherford, who lives on Montero Circle in Volusia County's biggest city, said via Facebook messenger that she has experienced flooding before on the 2.5-acre property adjacent to Lake Theresa, "but never this extreme."
Rutherford said she's contacted the city several times over the years about the lake levels in the area.
"All our land is underwater except for our home," Rutherford said. "We have another neighbor who also is surrounded by the lake now." ― Katie Kustura
11:56 a.m. | Tropical Storm Ian causes ocean to wash over parts of A1A
The Atlantic Ocean is washing over parts of A1A south of the Flagler Beach pier leaving the highway covered with a layer of sand.
Flagler Beach Police Chief Matt Doughney texted at about 11:30 a.m. Thursday that he had just spoken to the Florida Department of Transportation, which plans to send a team to assess the situation. He said police would continue to monitor the situation.
Doughney said the department does not have materials to close the road due to the wind speed but is urging people to stay off A1A. ― Frank Fernandez
11:49 a.m. | AdventHealth offers free non-emergency video health visits
AdventHealth is offering free video visits to Florida residents who have a non-emergency health need but are unable to leave their home. Board-certified health care teams will be available 24 hours a day for the free virtual urgent care visits until 8 a.m. on Friday.
The visits usually cost $59. Residents can access the free visits by downloading the AdventHealth app and using "Ian" as the promo code. ―Danielle Johnson
11:45 a.m. | Tropical Storm Ian winds prompt bridge closures
Officials announced that all Volusia County bridges are closed. They will reopen "after conditions have improved and the Florida Department of Transportation is able to inspect and deem bridges safe," according to a county news release.
Many roads are also flooded and impassable. County officials are urging people to stay off the roads. ― Sheldon Gardner
11:35 a.m. | Bunnell city manager asks residents to limit water use
Bunnell officials are asking residents and utility customers to immediately cease non-essential water usage until further notice, according to a press release.
“Right now, our manhole covers are overflowing with rainwater,” said Bunnell City Manager Alvin Jackson. “That will change, so please no more showers or dishes or other non-essential uses.”
City officials ask residents to also limit toilet flushing.
“Please use water sparingly for at least the next 24 hours, but this could last longer because of the amount of rain we are getting at this time” Jackson said.
Bunnell officials are working with the Department of Environmental Protection to find a solution, accofding to the press release from Flagler County Public Information Officer Julie Murphy. ― Frank Fernandez
11:16 a.m. | Volusia County extends curfew, faces ‘unprecedented’ rainfall
Volusia County is extending the county curfew until 7 a.m. on Friday, Volusia County Manager George Recktenwald said during a press conference Thursday morning at the Emergency Operations Center.
The call comes after beach communities countywide face “unprecedented” levels of rainfall, according to Emergency Management Director Jim Judge, and law enforcement and first responders try to deal with an overload of calls and residents trying to get out in the storm.
Community Information Director Kevin Captain said the rainfall situation is “beyond dangerous” and “poses an immediate threat to anyone who steps outside.”
Captain said Florida Power & Light is reporting 48,000 homes without power as of 5 a.m. Thursday, while Duke Energy is reporting around 22,000 as of 7 a.m.
Captain said more than 300 residents sought shelters in the county yesterday. He and Judge urged residents to stay put until officials say it is safe to go outside.
“We cannot emphasize enough how serious this is,” Judge said during at the press conference. “We are going to continue to see sustained, strong, tropical-storm-force winds for the next six hours or so. And even after we get past that stage, we are going to continue to have tropical storm gusts all night tonight.”
Judge said the county hopefully expects that “things will start to clear out tomorrow morning.”
“We’re still going to have a great deal of rain all through the day Sunday,” he added.
Several roads are flooded, the St. John’s river is in “major flood stage,” and pine trees are “bent halfway over.”
“Do not get out on the highways,” Judge said.
Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said that first responders are around 100 calls behind – most of which involve flooding incidents.
“While we have done a really good job navigating this storm, at around 4:35 a.m. this morning, I think Volusia County (took on) as much water as it can take,” Chitwood said. “As a result of that, we are seeing historic flooding.”
Captain said that residents can expect more response volume from county officials as road conditions improve Thursday afternoon and into the night.
Chitwood called out residents who are choosing to get out into the storm, “driving around, taking selfies,” and driving through flooded areas.
“What they are doing is they are pushing that water into people’s homes,” he said. “People that are on the brink of flooding or not flooding.”
Captain said residents can keep updated by visiting volusia.org/pin, or call the Citizens’ Information Center at 866-345-0345. ― Brenno Carillo
11:05 a.m. | Tropical Storm Ian swells St. Johns River near record level
In Astor, torrential rains from Tropical Storm Ian are pushing the waters of the St. Johns River toward a record level in western Volusia County, according to the National Weather Service and the Southeast River Forecast Center.
By 9 a.m. Thursday, following overnight heavy rains from Ian, the river level at Astor had risen to 3.93 feet from 2.61 feet at the same time on Wednesday. That’s approaching the 4-foot threshold for major flood level.
With more rain expected through Thursday, the NWS predicts that the river will reach a record 4.6 feet by Friday morning, matching a mark that was set in 1933, said Tim Sedlock, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Melbourne.
Ian already has dumped 6 to 8 inches of rain on the river in Astor, Sedlock said.
As the rains continue, the area could receive an additional 4 to 8 inches of rainfall from the storm, he said. That means the river level could likely rise above the record-setting level, he said.
“Any additional rain will exacerbate the issue, so it’s possible,” Sedlock said. ― Jim Abbott
10:50 a.m. | South Daytona rescue operations underway amid Tropical Storm Ian
In South Daytona, police and firefighters are rescuing people from flooded areas and all but four streets in the city are passable, said South Daytona police Lt. Brian Craig.
"We are doing the best we can," Craig said. "It's very touch and go."
In the middle of telephone interview, Craig had to pause because officials got involved in rescuing a family they transported to Atlantic High School.
Emergency crews were working in rainy and windy conditions: 40 mph winds and wind gusts of 50 mph.
"Right now we are seeing citywide historic and devastating flooding," Craig said. "We have lots of trees down and debris all over."
Craig said residents are asked to stay indoors and be safe as the area hunkers down for Hurricane Ian. ― Patricio Balona
10:35 a.m. | Flooding blocks some Edgewater streets
City of Edgewater officials said Thursday that some streets are impassable because of flooding caused by heavy rains from Tropical Storm Ian. Reports of homes taking water have also been made to officials, said city spokeswoman Jill Danigel.
Although the city's fire and police departments have use of several high clearance vehicles, for now they are been used to access residents experiencing serious medical emergencies, she said.
Danigel said they are compiling information of streets and neighborhood affected by flooding. Officials have been seeing comments on the city's Facebook page of people driving on flooded streets and city officials want them to know that they should not be out there, she said
"They are driving on these flooded streets and creating a wake that is sending more water into homes that are in low lying areas," Danigel said. "We really want these people to not be out in the streets." ― Patricio Balona
10:30 a.m. | State Road A1A still intact in Flagler Beach amid Tropical Storm Ian
Flagler Beach Police Chief Matt Doughney said that A1A was still intact and unaffected by the storm, so far.
“Everything is the way it was before the storm,” Doughney said. “I mean, obviously there's water but there's just a lot of activity in the Atlantic you know, that oceans churning. We are hoping to get through this storm without losing any of our roadway.”
Hurricane Matthew in 2016 chewed away large chunks of A1A. Doughney said he hopes the seawall improvements since Matthew will protect the road.
Doughney said the city had seen some localized flooding from the Intracoastal on North Flagler Avenue about 12th Street. He said he hopes the water does not rise like it did with Hurricane Irma in 2017 when flood waters from that cyclone damaged 400 homes in the city. ― Frank Fernandez
10:15 a.m. | Hurricane Ian topples tree, scatters debris in DeBary
As dawn arrived on Thursday at the Highbanks Marina and Camp Resort on the St. Johns River in DeBary, the outlook was soggy but optimistic, despite continued rain and sustained tropical storm force winds.
“We kept power all night and everybody’s safe,” said James Raburn, maintenance supervisor at the RV park and campground that accommodates more than 200 residents during its peak summer and winter seasons. “We’ve still got a lot of wind and rain, but other than that we’re doing good.”
Overnight, Ian’s tropical storm force winds sent numerous limbs from the park’s towering oak trees crashing to the ground. On at least one occasion, part of a tree landed on a resident’s car.
The heavy rains elevated the level of the St. Johns River about a foot higher than Raburn had anticipated, but it didn’t threaten any structures, he said.
Outside the park, the winds also toppled a tree that blocked Highbanks Road west of the railroad tracks that run next to DeBary’s Rob Sullivan Park, Raburn said.
“Until they clean that up, nobody’s going to be able to get to the marina, at least on Highbanks,” he said. ― Jim Abbott
8:54 a.m. | Palm Coast asks residents to limit water usage
Palm Coast is asking residents “to limit water usage as much as possible for the next few days” in hopes of preventing flooding, according to a release.
The city’s wastewater system is already having to handle plenty of water from the storm and heavy rainfall is expected through Friday evening, Brittany Kershaw, the city’s director of communications, wrote in an email.
The water could overwhelm the city’s wastewater system and cause a flood.
“Any water that goes down the drain creates wastewater that further stresses the wastewater system,” Kershaw wrote.
The request applies to properties with or without PEP tanks.
“Any water that goes down the drain will contribute to our wastewater system which is already overwhelmed with a great deal of rainwater,” Utility Director Steve Flanagan stated in the press release.
The city also provided flood safety tips:
Do not walk-through standing water or play in it, including swales. All standing water should be considered contaminated – by fertilizers, pesticides, animal feces, and wastewater (sewage).
Do not drive on or through flooded streets. Turn around and find an alternate route.
Avoid areas already flooded, especially if the water is flowing fast. Do not attempt to cross flowing streams.
If flooding occurs, get to higher ground.
Be especially cautious at night when it’s harder to recognize flood dangers.
Report any damage from this recent storm in Palm Coast to PalmCoast.gov/Connect or call customer service at 386-986-2360 as crews are working to handle emergencies.
8:42 a.m. | Flash flood warning for Volusia County
A flash flood warning is in effect for Volusia County until at least 12:15 p.m., according to a county news release. As of 7:30 a.m., the county had received between 8 and 13 inches of rain in some areas, and another 4 to 6 inches are expected.
The county advised people to seek higher ground if possible and avoid traveling unless evacuating.
"Most flood deaths occur in vehicles," according to the release.
The county also reminded people to stay off roads and shelter in place until officials announce that it's safe to go out.
The county is urging people to avoid downed power lines and assume they're electrified. People can report downed power lines to their power company or to the Citizens Information Center at 866-345-0345.
The county is asking people to report power outages to their electricity providers:
FPL: fpl.com, 800-468-8243
Duke Energy: duke-energy.com, 800-228-8485
New Smyrna Beach Utilities Commission: ucnsb.org, 386-427-1366
Clay Electric: clayelectric.com, 888-434-9844
8:29 a.m. | Daytona Beach Shores warn residents to stay off the roads
Daytona Beach Shores officials are asking residents to stay off the roads due to "heavy debris and some structural damage."
8:07 a.m. | Flagler will likely close bridges, suspend emergency services
In response to rapidly changing weather conditions, Flagler County officials are asking residents to shelter in place throughout the day on Thursday and likely into Friday.
The bridges to and from the barrier island will likely close at times, as winds reach or exceed 45 mph, county officials said in a release Thursday morning.
The release also warned residents that emergency services would likely stop intermittently throughout the day, particularly on the barrier island, depending on conditions.
“We have to close the bridges and suspend services for safety reasons once wind speeds reach 45 mph, and we have begun to approach that threshold multiple times this morning,” Emergency Management Director Jonathan Lord said in the release. “It is important for residents to know we may not have the ability to send our first responders across the bridge, or into severe storm conditions, should individuals require assistance.”
Once the winds diminish, services will resume, and public works teams and utility crews will have the opportunity to assess conditions, handle downed electric lines, and remove debris and other hazards from the roadways, the release stated.
“We cannot stress enough how important it is for everyone to be safe and stay safe,” Lord said. “We will be working diligently to get everything back to normal as quickly as possible.”
7:50 a.m. | NWS warns of 'life-threatening flash flooding' in parts of Volusia County
According to the National Weather Service, these areas could experience "life-threatening flash flooding": Daytona Beach, Port Orange, DeLand, New Smyrna Beach, South Daytona, Daytona Beach Shores, Lake Helen, Daytona International Speedway, Ponce Inlet, Spruce Creek, Samsula, Wilbur-by-the-Sea, Allandale, Harbor Oaks, New Smyrna Beach Airport.
7:34 a.m. | Deltona man dies in drowning during Tropical Storm Ian
A 72-year-old Deltona man died early Thursday morning after going outside during the storm to drain his pool, according to a release from the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies responded to a home on Poinciana Lane near Lake Bethel around 1 a.m. after the victim’s wife reported he disappeared after heading outside, the release said. While searching for him, deputies found his flashlight, then spotted the victim unresponsive in a canal behind the home.
Deputies pulled the man from the water and performed CPR until paramedics arrived, according to the release, but the victim could not be revived. He was later pronounced dead at the hospital.
“The initial investigation indicates the victim was using a hose to drain the pool down a hill and into a 30-foot-wide canal, where a steep decline into the water was extremely soft and slippery due to the heavy rain,” the release said.
Ian was downgraded to a tropical storm overnight as it blew through central Florida.
According to the National Weather Service, Volusia County is under a flash flood warning until at least 10 a.m.
As of 6 a.m., National Weather Service in Melbourne said Volusia County had already received up to 13 inches of rain.
6:29 a.m. | National Hurricane Center Advisory for Northeastern Florida
In its 5 a.m. advisory, the National Hurricane Center stated there is a danger of life-threatening storm surge today through Friday along the coasts of Northeast Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.
“Tropical storm force winds are expected to spread northward across Northeastern Florida through Friday and hurricane conditions are possible along the coast of Northeastern Florida,” the advisory said. “Widespread, life-threatening catastrophic flooding, with major to record river flooding, will continue today across portions of Central Florida with considerable flooding in northern Florida, southeastern Georgia and eastern South Carolina expected today through the end of the week.”
3:53 a.m. | FPL reports power outages for more than 7,700 Flagler customers
Flagler County’s Emergency Operations Call Center has received almost 700 calls since 8 a.m. on Tuesday, wrote county spokeswoman Rose Keirnan in an email. The majority of the calls tonight have been about shelters and the curfew and power outages. The Florida Power and Light website at 3 a.m. reported about 7,720 customers without power in Flagler County. Flagler County assessment teams will be out after daylight. The 24-Hour Call Center can be reached at 386-313-4200.
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This article originally appeared on The Daytona Beach News-Journal: Hurricane Ian: Volusia officials report widespread flooding, damage