Stay off the beach: Volusia, Flagler issue warning due to impending tropical disturbance

Strong rip currents, high surf, beach erosion likely in Daytona Beach area

Officials with Volusia and Flagler counties are warning beachgoers ahead of the weekend as a potential tropical system is expected to bring dangerous rip currents, rough seas, rain and beach erosion to the area.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Officials with Volusia and Flagler counties are warning beachgoers ahead of the weekend as a potential tropical system is expected to bring dangerous rip currents, rough seas, rain and beach erosion to the area.

An area of low pressure across the northeastern Caribbean Sea and southwestern Atlantic is expected to impact Central Florida in the coming days.

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The county said high surf and large breaking waves from 5 to 12 feet were possible.

“A lot of our coastal properties suffered tremendous damage and erosion from Hurricane Ian,” Volusia County Emergency Management Director Jim Judge said. “This new system heading our way can significantly threaten those properties with more erosion.”

County officials urged residents and visitors to stay off the beach this weekend through early next week.

“With the loss of our sand buffer from Hurricane Ian and the significant coastal damage already sustained, beach conditions during this upcoming weather event are not conducive for beachgoers,” the county said in a news release. “Beach ramps will be closed to driving as weather and tidal conditions warrant. As a safety precaution, all trash cans and port-o-lets will be removed.”

A tropical system near the Caribbean is seeing higher chances of development over the next five days.

Judge also said this system could be the perfect storm of high tides and big swells.

“Monday night, Tuesday into Wednesday night, overnight, hopefully by Thursday morning the full moon will be over with and the higher tide we can expect with a full moon and, of course, we’re looking at anything from 7 to 10-foot breaking waves along the shore,” he said.

His team, first responders, and state and FEMA officials met Friday to put a response plan together if buildings start crashing down.

In Flagler County, Emergency Management Director Jonathan Lord said about a dozen homes right on the beach are at high risk but there could be more depending on how strong this system ends up being.

“Storms we might not immediately think are at high risk, if it takes away the dune, that opens up dozens of more homes,” Lord said.

Then, there’s A1A which Hurricane Ian put at even more risk.

“A lot of the dune system that protects A1A is washed away,” Lord said.

Lord said the state has been working to secure Flagler’s dunes and A1A since Ian and the county has brought in some extra sand as part of emergency repairs but they’re still fragile.

Officials with Volusia and Flagler counties are warning beachgoers ahead of the weekend as a potential tropical system is expected to bring dangerous rip currents, rough seas, rain and beach erosion to the area.

“They truly were emergency measures to help the protection stay there, but it does not look anything like it did before Ian made its impact,” he said.

Joe Campanellie, a Flagler County resident, said the local beaches have lost a lot of their sand and crossovers.

“(Officials) bring the sand back in, but unfortunately, Mother Nature is a little fickle, and she kind of does what she wants to do,” Campanellie said.

Right now, neither Flagler or Volusia are asking those who are along the coastline here to evacuate, but both directors said to look at your situation and plan ahead. If you are concerned, then evacuating might be the better move.

There’s a 50% chance that the disturbance develops over the next 5 days.

It’s too soon to know if the system will organize, how strong the system could become and where exactly it will go. Due to its expected proximity to Florida, however, the Orlando area will see increased rain chances next week and coastal regions could see even more impacts.

The next named storm will be called Nicole.

Hurricane season ends Dec. 1.


About the Authors:

Daniel started with WKMG-TV in 2000 and became the digital content manager in 2009. When he's not working on ClickOrlando.com, Daniel likes to head to the beach or find a sporting event nearby.

Treasure joined News 6 at the start of 2021, coming to the Sunshine State from Michigan.