FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. – Officials with Flagler County’s Emergency Operation Center held a news conference Friday ahead of Hurricane Isaias.
Flagler County officials warn of flooding similar to what Floridians saw with Hurricane Dorian.
“Flooding may begin as early as Sunday’s first high tide at 1 a.m., or more likely the second high tide around 1 p.m. and repeat until the next couple of high tide cycles along the intercoastal,” officials said.
Flagler County issued a local state of emergency with Gov. Ron DeSantis following shortly after with a state of emergency for Florida’s east coast.
Gov. DeSantis made the announcement Friday morning during a brief press appearance in Tallahassee. He’s scheduled to go to Tampa later in the day to participate in a COVID-19 roundtable discussion with President Donald Trump. DeSantis also said it’s possible he could provide another Hurricane Isaias update later Friday evening.
Officials with Flagler County’s Emergency Operation Center said Wednesday that residents’ storm plans will likely look different this year due to COVID-19 concerns.
“If you have not already built a disaster supply kit and have not yet considered where you would go if your neighborhood was ordered to evacuate. Now is the time to do so,” officials added. “All residents in Flagler county should be prepared to shelter in place.”
Flagler County shelters will have separate areas for those who know they have COVID-19 or are showing symptoms of the virus, according to EOC officials.
All evacuees will be required to wear face coverings and will have their temperature checked upon entry and daily during their stay, according to the release. In another effort to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, shelter capacities and movement within the shelters will now be more restrictive than in previous years, officials said.
The storm’s path and strength remain fluid, but the governor said there’s a possibility Isaias could become a Category 2 hurricane.
“Those residents in hurricane evacuation Zone B, specifically those that live along the intercoastal waterway should be prepared to evacuate Saturday afternoon, should the situation change,” EOC said.
He said as of now, it probably won’t be necessary to open up shelters but should that be needed, leaders are prepared to do so.
“Those along the intercoastal, please be prepared to evacuate potentially Saturday afternoon. However, at this point in time we don’t believe we’ll have to go to that evacuation, but an overabundance of caution,” officials explained.
Isaias will continue to move up the U.S. East Coast, potentially impacting the Carolinas early next week.