Tropical storm force winds may arrive as early as Saturday night, Aug. 1.
With Hurricane Isaias still heading toward Florida's East Coast — and Flagler County within the forecast cone — residents should gather up hurricane supplies and prepare for a possible evacuation if they live in areas vulnerable to storm surge, according to Flagler County officials.
"Impacts will likely include tropical storm force winds — primarily east of I-95 — and some potential for storm surge, to primarily include flooding on properties that back up to the Intracoastal Waterway and the canals and waterways that run to the east of it,” Emergency Management Director Jonathan Lord said in a news conference held over Zoom on Friday, July 31. “Based on the current forecast, we expect to see tropical storm force winds as early as Saturday night, likely starting Sunday morning, lasting until Monday morning."
Flooding may be similar to what the county experienced with Hurricane Dorian, he said, and may begin as early as Sunday's first high tide, at 1 a.m., or, more likely, the second high tide at around 1 p.m.
Storm surge watches and warnings may begin Friday evening. “Due to this flooding potential, Flagler County, Flagler Beach, and Palm Coast have sand and sandbags today as well as tomorrow,” Lord said.
Some power outages are likely.
Residents who are staying home during the storm should fuel up their vehicles and generators and have an emergency kit with five to seven days' worth of non-perishable food and water (at least one gallon of water per person per day), extra medications, spare clothing, flashlights with extra batteries and radios with batteries, and should gather important records and keep them someplace safe.
"All residents of Flagler County should be prepared to shelter in place at home while Isaias passes by or though our community," Lord said. "Residents in Hurricane Evacuation Zone A, the barrier island, and those residents in Hurricane Evacuation Zone B, specifically those that live along the Intracoastal Waterway, should be prepared to evacuate Saturday afternoon, should the situation change.”
Primary evacuation options should be with friends, family, or hotels or motels outside of Evacuation Zones A and B. If there is an evacuation order, the county will open a shelter at Rymfire Elementary School for people who aren't able to make other arrangements.
Because of COVID-19, the shelter will require entry screenings, daily temperature screenings, social distancing and face coverings. The shelter will have separate areas for people who have COVID-19 and for those who are showing symptoms of COVID-19.
The county's Emergency Operations Center activated at 8 a.m. Friday, July 31, Lord said, and the county and state government both declared states of emergency. Formal declarations of a "state of emergency" ease the process of shifting resources between government bodies and applying for state or federal aid should an emergency actually occur, so municipalities and states often issue such declarations when emergencies seem imminent.
To view the National Hurricane Center's tracking map for Hurricane Isaias, go to https://www.nhc.noaa.gov. To sign top for Flagler County's emergency alert system, click HERE. View evacuation zones HERE.
Sand and sandbags will be available at the following locations, according to a county government news release:
- Flagler Technical College – 5633 N. Oceanshore Blvd., The Hammock – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday
- Santa Maria Del Mar Catholic Church – 915 N. Central Ave., Flagler Beach – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday
- Palm Coast Public Works Yard, 1 Wellfield Grade, off U.S. 1 and just north of Palm Coast Parkway, Palm Coast – 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday
View the latest updates at:
- Instagram: www.Instagram.com/FlaglerEOC
- Twitter: www.Twitter.com/FlaglerEOC
- Facebook: www.Facebook.com/FlaglerEOC
- Web: www.FlaglerCounty.org/emergency