TCPalm has staff across Vero Beach, Sebastian, Fellsmere, Orchid and Indian River Shores to provide updates on Tropical Storm Ian’s impact Thursday to Indian River County.
This story will be updated live as news breaks, but not much is expected after 3 p.m.
You can also keep up with TCPalm reporters on social media using #TCWeather.
If you missed Wednesday’s weather blog for Indian River County, click here.
8 pm. Tropical storm warning ends
The tropical storm warning for Indian River County was lifted at 8 p.m. Thursday, according to a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Melbourne.
But a tropical storm warning remained after 8 p.m. for coastal waters off the county, John Pendergrast said Thursday evening.
“For the adjacent Atlantic waters - this is the open waters of the Atlantic, adjacent to Indian River County - there’s still a tropical storm warning that’s in effect,” he said. “But for the land areas, it’s being removed at 8 p.m.”
3 p.m. - News conference
Hurricane Ian’s effect on Indian River County was relatively minimal, Emergency Management Coordinator Ryan Lloyd said at a 2:30 p.m. news conference.
“Tropical storm conditions finally should be leaving the area by 6 p.m.,” Lloyd said.
Residents should stay off the roads until then, he said.
Power outages are the main concern, County Administrator Jason Brown said. Power has not been restored to about 20,850 of the 42,500 Florida Power & Light customers in the county who lost power, he said. He did not know when it would be restored.
Crews were working to restore power, but were focused on critical infrastructure.
“We were fortunate not to have damage that was too bad,” Brown said.
Most traffic lights that were out had been restored by Thursday afternoon, he said.
County offices will reopen Friday, but schools will remain closed.
Most county beaches will remain closed Friday, but three will reopen:
Garbage pickup will resume Friday, he said.
2:40 p.m. - Tropical storm warning
A tropical storm warning remains in effect for Indian River County, according to the National Weather Service. Northwest winds and seas continued to diminish. Winds were blowing from 29 to 40 mph with gusts up to 57. Seas were 7 to 10 feet.
1 p.m. - Standing water
Some roads remained under water, like the entry to the Shorelands community on A1A south of Vero Beach.
12:15 p.m. - Schools closed
Indian River County schools will remain closed on Friday.
Indian River State College will reopen at 8 a.m. Friday.
12:05 p.m. - From the west coast
The Holiday Inn & Suites Vero Beach-Oceanside became a refuge for Florida west coast residents who evacuated ahead of Hurricane Ian’s landfall Wednesday afternoon. Concierge Marly Giorgio said the hotel was booked for the night with them.
Among them were Scott and Cindy Campbell of Port Charlotte, who had planned to drive north to Georgia until they saw the hurricane was heading in that direction.
They tried booking a hotel in Port St. Lucie, but everything was reserved.
“I was going online and seeing availability, would hit OK to reserve, and then it would say taken,” said Cindy Campbell. “I called Holiday Inn and they were great, they got me right in.”
Throughout the evening, the couple heard wind gusts howling from their hotel room on the second floor.
Family members who remained in Port Charlotte have been updating them about their home. Their house was not flooded, but their roof and boat ramp were damaged.
“We lost our lanai that we know of, our trees came down,” said Scott Campbell, 65.
Noon - Spectators gather at beach
Spectators gathered at Sexton Beach Plaza as the outer bands of now Tropical Storm Ian continued to be felt around Vero Beach Thursday.
Charter boat captain Justin Gay said the yellow buoy that washed ashore was from the St. Lucie nuclear power plant.
“I fish around it all the time,” Gay said. “That’s it for sure.”
11:45 a.m. - Tropical storm warning
The National Weather Service issued an advisory saying Indian River County remains under a tropical storm warning.
Northwest winds, especially along Florida's northeast coast, were expected to blow about 46 to 57 mph with gusts up to 75 mph. Tropical storm force winds are possible until early Friday.
Seas were expected to be 11 to 16 feet near shore and up to 20 feet offshore. A storm surge up to 2 feet could be seen through Sunday evening.
Strong winds are causing hazardous seas, which could capsize or damage vessels and reduce visibility. Mariners are advised to remain in port, seek safe harbor, alter their course, and/or secure their vessel.
11:30 a.m. - Motel sign collapsed
Between 12:30 a.m. and 1 a.m. Thursday, a 20-foot-tall sign collapsed at the Vero Inn, a motel at 2022 U.S. 1 in Vero Beach, according to an employee who was working overnight. No one was hurt, but it missed a parked car by a few feet.
The bang startled patron Carrie Jock, 36, who was staying in the room adjacent to the sign.
“I get scared of everything, so I freaked out,” she said. “I thought it was like a transformer or something. It was really loud.”
A crowd of people staying at the motel rushed outside to see what had happened, she said. Because of the strong wind and rain, they didn’t stay outside long. She tried to coax them back inside because the weather was so bad.
“I was like, ‘Stop it, the debris will fly around and hurt you,’ ” she said.
The sign was blocked off with tape as of 11:30 a.m. Thursday.
10:10 a.m. - Vegetative debris
A minor amount of vegetative debris was scattered across the barrier island.
Crews were picking up tree trimmings on A1A in Indian River County.
10:05 a.m. - A1A reopened
A1A on Orchid Island, across from the McLarty Treasure Museum, was blocked off while workers restored a fallen power line. It has reopened.
10 a.m. - Hospital closed
Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital’s ambulatory locations are closed Thursday and will resume normal operations on Friday. Patients are being notified and appointments rescheduled. Patients can call 800-546-4138 for updated information.
9: 45 a.m. - Shelters closing
People who are sheltering at Treasure Coast Elementary School, Liberty Magnet School and Freshman Learning Center will be able to return home Thursday, according to spokesperson Kathy Copeland
“Right now, we’re mainly dealing with power outages, traffic lights (and) trying to get the word out to people to use safety when using generators. Use them in a well-ventilated area,” she said.
9:50 a.m. - Mobile home damaged
Winds caused minor damage to at least one home in the Village Green mobile home park in Vero Beach.
9:15 a.m. - Garbage, landfill services
All Indian River County garbage, yard waste and recycling collections services remain suspended Thursday. Recycling will resume on Monday.
The landfill and five customer convenience centers will be closed Thursday and reopen at noon Friday.
9 a.m. - Beaches closed
All Vero Beach city beaches will be closed Thursday, including Jaycee, Humiston and South Beach. Lifeguards will not be on duty. Beach conditions can be dangerous.
Round Island had some erosion and downed palm fronds. The metal roof on an old metal shed was peeling back in the oncoming winds.
8:45 a.m. - Road closures
Indian River Boulevard is closed south of Royal Palm Boulevard and traffic is being diverted to 23rd Street because of a downed power line over the road.
A railroad crossing at 21st Street and U.S. 1 had snapped in half and fallen over the train tracks.
IRC residents are waking up to downed power lines, small debris everywhere:
Police have a section of Indian River Boulevard blocked off due to a downed power line at 23rd Street
Nobody here working to fix it yet as of 9:40 a.m.
— Thomas Weber (@thomasjweb) September 29, 2022
8:30 a.m. - Traffic lights out
The traffic lights were out at these intersections:
U.S. 1 and 10th Street and 11th Street
State Road 60 East at Commerce Street and 11th Street
State Road 60 West at Commerce Street, 10th Street, U.S. 1, Sixth Avenue and Indian River Boulevard
8:30 - Barrier island is quiet
There were some light winds and rain and minor vegetation down.
— Gianna Montesano (@gmontesano13) September 29, 2022
7 a.m. - Power outages rising
Over 27,000 Florida Power & Light Co. customers in Indian River County are experiencing a power outage, about 27%.
Residents in a neighborhood across from the Sandridge Golf Course still have no power after losing it about 4 a.m. Wednesday.
4 a.m. - What’s closed during Hurricane Ian?
The School District of Indian River County is closed Thursday, along with county government offices.
Click here for an exhaustive list of local closures and cancellations.
1 a.m. - Tornado watch ends
A tornado watch issued by the National Weather Service Wednesday afternoon has ended. Nine Florida counties, including Martin, St. Lucie and Indian River, were included in the watch.
A tornado watch has been issued for parts of Florida until 1 AM EDT pic.twitter.com/IqgD6fjwfD
— NWS Melbourne (@NWSMelbourne) September 28, 2022
This article originally appeared on Treasure Coast Newspapers: Hurricane Ian: Tropical storm warning for Indian River County, Florida