VOLUSIA COUNTY – Emergency management officials are urging residents in Volusia County to put safety first, stay off the roads and continue to shelter in place while the county assesses the damage from Hurricane Ian.
Volusia County Public Works Director Ben Bartlett emphasized the impact Ian’s rainfall had on the 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.”
Officials said the county remains under both a tropical storm warning and a flood warning and they anticipate an additional 1 to 3 inches of rainfall into the night, with possible tropical storm force winds as the outer bands of Ian move over the county.
“We are very much in the response mode,” Volusia County Interim Emergency Management Director Jim Judge said. “We have Volusia County Fire Rescue, Beach Safety/Ocean Rescue in partnership with the Volusia Sheriff’s Office, and as we move forward, we’re going to move into recovery mode.”
Certain cities, like New Smyrna Beach, experienced widespread damage after being buffeted by 18 to 24 inches of rain. New Smyrna Beach officials said major flooding led to 180 evacuations and 13,000 of the city’s 29,942 customers without power.
A countywide curfew remains in effect through 7 a.m. Friday.
The county offered the following safety tips for residents:
- Residents are urged to shelter in place and stay off the roads until they’re notified that it’s safe to go out. Standing water, downed trees and other debris make roads dangerous and impassible. Public works crews will start to conduct their assessments and clean things up after the storm has passed.
- If you have to be on the road, motorists should be aware that some traffic signals may be temporarily inoperable. When approaching an intersection where the traffic light isn’t working, it should be treated as a four-way stop.
- Residents are urged not to go in the water at county beaches due to extremely dangerous ocean currents and waves.
- If residents encounter a downed power line, they should assume it’s live and never touch it or go near it.
- 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, be sure to maintain plenty of air flow space around the generator.
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