Preparations underway in Volusia County ahead of Hurricane Isaias

Storm tough on businesses already suffered from COVID-19

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – Volusia County is preparing for Hurricane Isaias that could make an impact this weekend.

Volusia County Beach Safety Patrol said it has already packed up non-essential items like trash receptacles and playground canopies but leaving behind some traffic signs, cones and lifeguards until Saturday afternoon.

Capt. Tammy Malphurs said one positive takeaway from the hurricane is a solution to the soft sand problem. Lifeguards said they’re prepared for what may come but beachgoers still need to be on alert, as the red flag will be flying for unfavorable beach conditions.

“What’s really important to know is when those conditions die down, we could have very hazardous rip current conditions,” Malphurs said.

Those rip current conditions have some hotels like The Shores Resort and Spa taking action, and said a hurricane is the last thing they need while still dealing with COVID-19.

“Financially, I mean it’s kicking you when you’re down,” general manager Robert Bernetti said.

Bernetti said business has been better than expected, claiming weekends are where they make the most money but he’s not expecting to make much of it this weekend.

“Most of my phone calls today are people asking, ‘What’s your cancellation policy?’ But again, we expect that, we can’t control it, we do the best we can with it. We just make sure we’re ready to take care of the people we have staying with us,” he said.

Bernetti said he’ll be equipped with sandbags as he’s planning on flooding and high winds. He’s also bringing in furniture along with the outside food and beverage service to make sure guests and staff continue to be safe.

“We’re not going to let it get us down. We know after this, we’ll come out of this still dealing with the COVID issues that are in play. And this is just the beginning of the season, who knows what’s going to come. But no, you don’t get discouraged, we just take care of it the best we can,” he said.

The following beach vehicle access ramps have been closed:

  • Milsap Road in Ormond Beach
  • Hartford Avenue in Daytona Beach
  • Botefuhr Avenue in Daytona Beach
  • Vanue Avenue in Daytona Beach Shores
  • El Portal Street in Daytona Beach Shores
  • Emilia Avenue in Daytona Beach Shores

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