Beachgoers scarce as wintry weather hits Volusia County

Beach Safety flew double red flag Wednesday

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The violent waves and ice cold wind and rain still didn't keep some beachgoers away.

"I love it. It's like summer," John Belanger said.

That's because Belanger is from Massachusetts, where it's in the 20s. Belanger said he's been in Florida since New Year's and wanted to see the beach, not thinking it would be cold here, too.

"I brought the cold with me. It's my fault, it's cool," he said.

Jonathan Ivey is a local and was ready to jump in, even though the double red flag is advising people against it.

"I'm waiting for the wind to turn down just a little bit. The office shut down due to some power outages, so, I'm kind of waiting to see what the waves are going to do over here and go surf," Ivey said.

Beach Safety Patrol said the cold front is to blame for not only debris, but beach erosion and the hundreds of conservation poles that have disappeared into the water.

"We are going out and securing all those poles we can find on the beach that have washed out. We might have to bring in some new ones, but, hopefully, we'll have enough and be able to recover enough to put back in the beach," Capt. Tammy Malphurs said.

Beach safety crews said they'll be flying the single red flag Thursday. For now, Beach Way North is the only area where beachgoers can drive on the beach.

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