Friday updates on Ian: Woman dies amid storm surge, walkover collapse in Ormond-by-the Sea

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Hurricane Ian brought widespread flooding, damaging winds and unprecedented rainfall to Volusia County and beyond. The News-Journal will post updates here on Friday, so check back for the latest from East Central Florida.

Live updates on your phone: Sign up to a special texting group for updates on Hurricane Ian and its aftermath

Destruction and desperation: See Hurricane Ian damage city by city across Florida

Flagler Beach pier: Tropical Storm Ian rips off the end of the iconic Flagler Beach wooden pier

7:12 p.m. | After walkover collapse, woman is swept away, dies in Volusia County

Volusia County on Friday confirmed its third death related to Tropical Storm Ian, according to Kevin Captain, county spokesman.

A woman in her 60s slipped and fell and was swept away by the storm surge in Ormond-by-the-Sea. Her family was able to recover her and bring her to a nearby walkover, but the walkover collapsed, Captain said. Another wave came in and she was swept away second time.

She was recovered again, but she was no longer breathing, Captain said. ― Dinah Pulver, USA Today 

Sunday updates on Ian: So far, 5 Volusia deaths attributed to storm

7 p.m. | Volunteer help available for Hurricane Ian recovery

Residents who need help with tree work, roof tarping and removing flood sediment can request volunteers by calling the Citizens Information Center at 866-345-0345. The center is open 24/7, and staff can answer questions about storm recovery.

People can register to volunteer through the United Way of Volusia and Flagler Counties uwvfc.org or by calling the Citizens Information Center at 866-345-0345, according to a Volusia County news release. ― Staff report 

6:53 p.m. | Daytona Beach airport to reopen Saturday morning

The Daytona Beach International Airport terminal will reopen at 8 a.m. Saturday for normal business, according to a Volusia County news release.

"Daytona Beach International Airport remains closed except to government, emergency and humanitarian aircraft," according to a county news release. "Airport staff is working to clean debris and ensure all airport systems are operational for the safety and security of the traveling public. Commercial air carrier traffic is scheduled to resume Saturday morning."

The county is encouraging people to check with their airlines about flight schedules. ― Staff report

6:34 p.m. | Tropical Storm Ian was a 'catastrophic event,' Volusia sheriff says

Volusia County officials again urged residents to stay put and not leave their homes “unless absolutely necessary” during a press conference at the Emergency Operations Center Friday afternoon.

“The recovery and healing process for this storm is underway,” Kevin Captain, the county’s community information director, said. “However, just because the storm has moved on, the danger has not … The destruction left by (Tropical Storm) Ian is indescribable.”

“Roads, businesses and even our iconic Speedway are all under water,” Captain said. “At this time, we do not have a start date for our debris removal, as the damage assessment is ongoing.”

Debris piles should be separated between vegetation (leaves, tree branches) and building material (such as carpets, furniture, fences, drywall).

As of 1 p.m. Friday afternoon, about 184,000 customers remained without power in the county, he said.

“Surely, this is a large number. But in looking at the positive side of things, it is a significant decrease from yesterday, when almost 250,000 were without power,” Captain said.

Out-of-state utility crews have been mobilized in the efforts to restore power in the area.

'Over 600 calls'  

Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood encouraged residents to reflect on the “historic” and “catastrophic event we faced here.”

“We lost three lives during this event,” he said. “And we have untold numbers who have had catastrophic loses of their properties – not to mention what is going on with our friends and neighbors in the southwest part of the state.”

Chitwood said New Smyrna Beach saw 15.5 inches of rain from the storm yesterday – 13 in DeLand, 11.5 in Edgewater, 11 in Lake Helen and Debary, and more than 10 inches in Daytona Beach.

“When you factor that in, plus the over 600 calls to our dispatch center for people to be evacuated, I could not be prouder to be part of the team we have here,” he said.

Chitwood said the county received state assistance with five high-water vehicles used in the rescue operations yesterday. There are currently no calls pending for flooding evacuations, Chitwood added.

Daytona Beach-area shelters

Shelters in the county have housed more than 400 people as of Friday morning. All shelter locations, Captain said, will close at 10 a.m. on Saturday.

Emergency Management Director Jim Judge said staff from the county’s school district and health department helping people at the shelters.

The Ocean Center at 101 N Atlantic Ave. in Daytona Beach will be the “main evacuation point and sheltering location for Volusia County” beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday.

The two special needs shelters are at Atlantic High School and Galaxy Middle School, and the two general population shelters are at Mainland High School and DeLand High School.

Volusia Schools staff are currently surveying sites to determine schools’ accessibility and to have a date for reopening “as expeditiously as possible.”

“We are going to make sure we are going to open schools safely for our parents, students and staff,” said Earl Johnson Jr., chief operating officer for the county school district.

Beaches and animal shelter rescue

Beach Safety Deputy Chief Tammy Malphurs said beach conditions “remain incredibly hazardous.”

“Double red flags are currently flying and we expect to fly them for the next few days,” Malphurs said. “In addition to the waves, debris may be in the ocean or on shore, which will cause bodily harm. There are many beach walkovers, sea walls and sea dunes that have been damaged by the storm. Please stay off of these.”

Captain closed with news that an Edgewater animal shelter received help from the county’s animal services division and other local partners to rescue 90 animals (cats and dogs) during Thursday's storm.

“It’s going to take a lot of people to restore our beautiful community,” Captain said.

― Brenno Carillo

4:40 p.m. | Chuck E. Cheese roof among damage in Port Orange

Tropical Storm Ian claimed the Chuck E. Cheese restaurant at The Pavilion at Port Orange as one of its casualties on Thursday.

The rest of the shopping center at 5501 S. Williamson Blvd. in Port Orange, however, remained relatively intact.

"The Pavilion is mostly fine," confirmed Kristina Circelli, a spokeswoman for both the Port Orange shopping center as well as for Volusia Mall in Daytona Beach, on Friday. "Chuck E. Cheese was the outlier and unfortunately sustained major damage to their building due to a collapsed roof."

The News-Journal was unable to reach a spokesperson for the Chuck E. Cheese restaurant in Port Orange for comment.

Dorothy Hopper, the general manager and co-owner of the Copperline Coffee, also said she didn't notice the damage to the nearby restaurant when she drove in to work Friday morning. She said the damage is noticeable on the side of the building facing Williamson, but not so much on the side that faces her coffeehouse.

"Oh my god, poor Chuck E. Cheese over there," she said when contacted by phone on Friday afternoon.

As for the Port Orange Copperline location, Hopper said, "We have no damage, thank goodness. We never lost power either. We lost a few ceiling tiles, but that's it." ― Clayton Park

4:32 p.m. | Volusia County: 90 cats and dogs were rescued from Tropical Storm Ian flooding

Human society and animal control officials from Volusia County rescued 71 cats and 19 dogs from the Edgewater Animal Shelter on Thursday because of flooding, according to a Volusia County news release.

The Halifax Humane Society is caring for the dogs, and the Southeast Volusia Humane Society is caring for the cats. Many of them can be adopted.

"If you would like to open your heart and home to a four-legged victim of Hurricane Ian, contact the Halifax Humane Society at 386-274-4703 or the Southeast Volusia Humane Society at 386-428-9860," the county said in a news release.

For pet resources or to report a pet in need, people can call Volusia County Animal Services at 386-248-1777. ― Staff report 

3:18 p.m. | 'Even our iconic speedway' is underwater

Volusia County Community Information Director Kevin Captain said at a news conference this afternoon that the Daytona International Speedway has been flooded by Hurricane Ian.

“Roads, businesses and even our iconic Speedway are all under water,” Captain said.

An image from a Volusia Sheriff's Office video shows flooding from Tropical Storm Ian at the Daytona International Speedway. VOLUSIA COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE/CONTRIBUTED
An image from a Volusia Sheriff's Office video shows flooding from Tropical Storm Ian at the Daytona International Speedway. VOLUSIA COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE/CONTRIBUTED

3:16 p.m. | Record levels expected to be reported for St. Johns River after Hurricane Ian rainfall

In Central Florida, Ian's heavy rain will push the St. Johns River to record heights. The National Weather Service forecast calls for the river to exceed 11.6 feet near Lake Harney in southern Volusia County. That's 6 inches above the record at a gauge where records have been kept since the 1940s. In Astor, on the north end of the county, the river is forecast to break a record set in 1933. ― Dinah Voyles Pulver, USA TODAY

3:11 p.m. | Crabby Joe's Deck & Grill damaged

Workers man the kitchen and bar areas at Crabby Joe's in Daytona Beach Shores, Wednesday, March 24, 2021.
Workers man the kitchen and bar areas at Crabby Joe's in Daytona Beach Shores, Wednesday, March 24, 2021.

Tropical Storm Ian took down a huge chunk of the Sunglow Pier including a portion of the iconic Crabby Joe's Deck & Grill on Thursday.

"The restaurant itself is pretty much intact, but there has been extensive damage both to the front as well as to the pier behind the restaurant including the gift shop, maintenance room and fishing pier," said General Manager Nicole Devane.

"The rear portion of the pier became detached and is now somewhere in the ocean," she said in a phone interview Friday afternoon.

Devane said Crabby Joe's owner Ray Barshay, who also owns Sunglow Pier, plans to rebuild the portion of the pier damaged in this latest tropical storm/hurricane with the goal of reopening the restaurant as soon as it is safe.

"The pier is definitely repairable," she said as she assessed the damage in person. "Time will tell how fast we can get it rebuilt."

Devane said the inside dining room, kitchen and bar all appear to be intact, but acknowledged, "the main dining room in back is questionable. The main priority right now is to try to secure as much as we can and try to reopen as soon as possible once we know it's safe."

Devane said the restaurant was closed and no employees were present when the damage occurred, which was likely sometime either late Wednesday night or early morning Thursday. Crabby Joe's employs 119 workers.

"We probably lost a good 200 feet of the pier," she said. The restaurant itself is "300 feet from the parking lot to the front door."

The City of Daytona Beach Shores' Department of Public Safety posted a photo of the damaged pier on Facebook. "We have lost part of our iconic Sunglow Pier. Please do not come to the beach to sightsee — It is too dangerous to be out on the roads and especially at the beach."

John Luke Zona, who goes by "Luke," is the former longtime general manager of Crabby Joe's who oversaw its operations for 29 years until he retired in May of last year. Reached by phone late Thursday, he said he could immediately tell by looking at a photo of the damage what was lost in the storm.

"It's repairable," he said, adding that this is not the first time Sunglow Pier has been extensively damaged by a hurricane or tropical storm. "When (Hurricane) Matthew hit (in 2016), we lost 180 feet. I was also there when (Hurricane) Floyd took out 85 feet (in 1999). It used to be 1,000 feet long."

"It's a really sad day," said Zona who grew up across the street from Sunglow Pier and began working at Crabby Joe's as a teenager.  "It's heartbreaking."

Barshay responded briefly via text message to an inquiry from The News-Journal stating, "Scrambling with 3 places down and assessing things. Can try you later."

Barshay also owns the Funky Pelican seafood restaurant on the Flagler Beach Pier, which was also damaged during Tropical Storm Ian, as well as the RiverGrille on the Tomoka restaurant at 950 U.S. 1 in Ormond Beach. He confirmed in a follow-up text that all three restaurants suffered damage, but did not specify to what extent. ― Clayton Park

3:06 p.m. | NSB debris pickup efforts begin, mayor urges residents to stay home if safe until water recedes

New Smyrna Beach is now implementing a first push to clear debris left in the wake of Tropical Storm Ian, the city announced in a press release Friday afternoon.

“A citywide storm debris assessment is currently underway as a surge of additional collection trucks are slated to work over the weekend clearing city roads before moving on to curbside pickup this Monday,” the release said.

The make-up days for solid waste collection will be Monday, Oct. 3 for “items normally put out on Thursdays and Tuesday, Oct. 4 for items normally put out on Fridays.

Tips for debris placement include:

  • Separate tree limbs, branches, and other vegetative debris from demolition waste into separate piles without blocking the road, sidewalk, or storm drains.

  • Do not place debris near or on trees, poles, fire hydrants, meters, or other structures.

  • Do not place debris directly under power lines to allow collection truck boom arms room to maneuver.

  • If you do not have a sidewalk, ditch, or utility line in front of your home, place debris at the edge of your property line before the curb.

170 out-of-town utilities crews from six states have been based at the New Smyrna Beach Municipal Airport to assist with recovery efforts on Friday.

The storm’s maximum gust of 95 mph and sustained winds toppled several trees, disrupting power throughout the city.

“Our city is experiencing unprecedented flooding across every area,” said New Smyrna Beach Mayor Russ Owen. “Many streets are impassable and there are hidden underwater dangers in previously safe areas. Venturing out for sightseeing purposes can place your life and our first responders’ lives in careless jeopardy. Do not go out. Stay home while we wait for water to recede and make assessments.”

Residents can monitor the city’s Facebook page or call the Community Information Center at 386-402-7675 for the latest updates and information. ― Brenno Carillo 

2:30 p.m. | Westbound lanes closed on Dunlawton bridge

According to Daytona Beach Shores police, as of 2:30 p.m. Friday, the westbound lanes of the Dunlawton bridge are now closed. Eastbound lanes remain open. ― Staff report 

2:11 p.m. | Portion of Dunlawton Avenue in Port Orange impassable

At noon Friday, Dunlawton Avenue in Port Orange was still impassable and many side streets were under water.

Although Daytona Beach Shores authorities opened the Dunlawton Bridge before noon on Friday, Sept. 30, 2022, a palm tree still blocked the westbound lane.
Although Daytona Beach Shores authorities opened the Dunlawton Bridge before noon on Friday, Sept. 30, 2022, a palm tree still blocked the westbound lane.

Frankie Matos, who lives on Ruth Street was standing in front of Atlantic Marine, 520 Dunlawton Ave., when he realized he still had no access to his home.

“I could peek through the fence and see that the house is still there, thank God,” Matos said. “But when I left, it was under 2 feet of water.”

“This is worst hurricane I’ve ever been through,” said Matos, who moved to Florida from New York 20 years ago. “I was just trying to get home. I have a lot of stuff I need to clear out.”

As he listened to a pumping humming in the background, Matos seemed hopeful that he would be able to get back to his house soon.

“The first time I came by it was up to here,” he described, as he pointed to his waist. “I don’t know where the water is going to, a retention pond or the ocean, but they’re slowly getting rid of it.”

“I lost my house. I lost everything I have…all my belongings and possibly my Jeep,” he said. “I’m surprised it’s still driving. All my electronics were going crazy.”

As Matos headed back to his vehicle, drivers were impatiently beeping at one another. He urged people to be kind.

“People can be so mean,’’ he said. “You don’t know what that man in that car just lost. Just be compassionate.” ― Tammie Shanahan

1:55 p.m. | Crews assess damage in Deltona; mayor says 'city fared well' overall

In a live stream Friday morning from Deltona's City Hall, Commissioner Dana McCool said city staffers were hard at work and would be throughout the day as crews assess damage from Ian.

Just as in other areas, localized flooding and downed trees and powerlines were issues residents posted about on social media.

"Please be patient as some roads are still unpassable," McCool said in the video.

A view of the rear of Pamela Hoover Rutherford's property on Montero Circle shows water from the adjacent Lake Theresa encroaching on the Deltona home Thursday morning after Hurricane Ian brought massive flooding across Volusia County.
A view of the rear of Pamela Hoover Rutherford's property on Montero Circle shows water from the adjacent Lake Theresa encroaching on the Deltona home Thursday morning after Hurricane Ian brought massive flooding across Volusia County.

Reached by phone shortly before 1 p.m. Friday, Troy Shimkus, president of the nonprofit Deltona Strong, said there would be hotdogs and hamburgers grilled outside of Fresco y Más, 1229 Providence Blvd., for those in need of a meal. Food donations also are being accepted until 4 p.m., and from 4 to 6 p.m., donations will be distributed.

Mayor Heidi Herzberg said Friday afternoon that city crews were continuing to assess damage in the area.

Significant flooding occurred in the area of Elkcam and Courtland boulevards.

"Overall, the city fared well," Herzberg said.

Officials encouraged residents to stay off the roads unless necessary so that crews can work toward clearing downed trees. ― Katie Kustura

1:48 p.m. | Volusia officials urge people to practice chainsaw safety

People who are cleaning up debris might need to use a chainsaw. Volusia County officials issued the following safety guidance:

Do:

  • Read the owner's manual before operating a chainsaw.

  • Keep the cutting area clear of spectators and pets.

  • Work with a partner if possible.

  • Wear protective clothing: a hard hat, goggles, sturdy shoes, gloves and trim-fitting clothes.

  • Note any overhead hazards, including hanging tree limbs and utility lines.

  • Be careful with fuel. Fuel the saw at least 10 feet from ignition sources.

  • Stay on the ground. Don't cut from a ladder.

  • Stand to the side when cutting.

  • Cut at full throttle; bring the saw up to speed before starting cuts.

  • Keep both hands on the saw handles.

  • Let the saw come to a complete stop before reaching for the chain or blade.

  • Cut wood only. Don't allow dirt and rocks to touch the chain.

  • Be careful with small branches. Unweighted limbs may spring back when cut.

  • Adjust the depth gauge setting every time you sharpen the chain.

  • Maintain proper chain saw tension. A loose chain can come off the guide bar and strike you.

  • Shut off or engage the chain brake whenever the saw is carried more than 50 feet, or across hazardous terrain.

Don’t

  • Touch a hot muffler.

  • Cut above chest height.

  • Use the bar for leverage; it's there to guide and support the cutting chain.

  • Bury the tip in the wood.

  • Push or force the saw. Let the saw do the work. If you find that you have to push, stop and sharpen the chain.

  • Refuel a hot saw.

  • Drop-start the saw.

  • Operate a saw when using alcohol or drugs or when you're fatigued.

Sara Demers, of Edgewater, helps her best friend save some belongings, including a goldfish and a frog, from her flooded Lake Drive home Friday, Sept. 30, 2022, the day after Tropical Storm Ian tore through the state. Demers said all of Lake Drive east from Ellison Avenue is flooded and water reached a Winn Dixie in the neighborhood.
Sara Demers, of Edgewater, helps her best friend save some belongings, including a goldfish and a frog, from her flooded Lake Drive home Friday, Sept. 30, 2022, the day after Tropical Storm Ian tore through the state. Demers said all of Lake Drive east from Ellison Avenue is flooded and water reached a Winn Dixie in the neighborhood.

1:38 p.m. | Homeowners without insurance can seek help from Federal Emergency Management Agency

People who don't have insurance but whose properties have been damaged in Hurricane Ian flooding can seek help through FEMA, according to a Volusia County news release.

"Volusia County Government is working with FEMA to set up a location where Volusia County residents can apply for assistance," according to the county. "If they are denied, they can appeal the FEMA decision. If they are denied again, they may apply for a loan from the Small Business Administration.

"FEMA employees are working as fast as they possibly can, and they ask residents to be patient as they work through the catastrophic damage Ian caused across Florida."

― Staff report 

1:33 p.m. | Ocean Center in Daytona Beach to open as shelter; county parks, trails closed

A shelter will open at the Ocean Center, which is at 101 N Atlantic Ave. in Daytona Beach, at 10 a.m. on Saturday for people who have been impacted by Hurricane Ian, according to a Volusia County news release.

At noon Friday, Sept. 30, 2022, Dunlawton Avenue in Port Orange westbound was still impassable and many side streets were also under water.
At noon Friday, Sept. 30, 2022, Dunlawton Avenue in Port Orange westbound was still impassable and many side streets were also under water.

Volusia County government and American Red Cross officials are working together on the effort.

"The shelter will accept all residents, including special needs patients," according to the county. "Special needs patients may be accompanied by one caregiver. The Florida Department of Health in Volusia County will provide care for special needs patients. Patients should bring their medications, medical supplies and equipment."

County parks and trails are closed until further notice because of debris and downed trees. ― Staff report 

1:05 p.m. | Edgewater residents use kayaks to check damage

When the roads surrounding their house in Edgewater became flooded during Tropical Storm Ian on Thursday, Allison Barker and her husband and son decided it was an opportune time to go kayaking that afternoon.

"The pond behind us overflooded. It made it up to my porch but not to my house." said Barker on Friday morning after emailing photos of her and her family's impromptu kayak excursion to The Daytona Beach News-Journal.

Edgewater resident Allison Barker, pictured third from the right, can be seen in a kayak checking out the flooding that Tropical Storm Ian caused in her neighborhood along with family members and neighbors in the on Thursday afternoon, Sept. 29, 2022. The road pictured here is Kumquat Drive, which is one block over from Barker's house. It remained flooded as of Friday morning, she reported. "The water made it up to my porch, but not inside my house," she said.
Edgewater resident Allison Barker, pictured third from the right, can be seen in a kayak checking out the flooding that Tropical Storm Ian caused in her neighborhood along with family members and neighbors in the on Thursday afternoon, Sept. 29, 2022. The road pictured here is Kumquat Drive, which is one block over from Barker's house. It remained flooded as of Friday morning, she reported. "The water made it up to my porch, but not inside my house," she said.

Barker and her family were accompanied by a couple of neighbors in checking out the flooding, which completely inundated Kumquat Drive, one street over.

"I know the National Guard was evacuating people who needed it," she said. "It's still flooded (as of Friday morning), but has receded a tiny bit." ― Clayton Park 

1 p.m. | South Daytona couple thankful they bought flood insurance

Joan Clipp and her husband Mike were warned when they bought their home in South Daytona earlier this year that it was in a flood zone, but that it had never been flooded in 49 years.

Clipp said she and her husband decided to take out a flood insurance policy through Citizens Insurance just in case.

They are sure glad they did.

On Thursday, when Volusia County was hit by outer bands from Tropical Storm Ian, the Clipps' home wound up getting flooded with the water rising as much as 5 inches throughout every room.

"We weren't even unpacked yet," said Joan Clipp, who works as a technical illustrator for Metra Electronics in Holly Hill.

"We were worried about our roof, but the roof is fine," she said, while talking by phone from her car on Friday morning because her and her husband's home is still without power.

Mike Clipp, who works as the branch manager for Magic Tilt in Edgewater, said he and his wife first noticed water seeping in through the walls late Wednesday night, but thought they sufficiently addressed the problem by putting down towels.

"Around 3 or 4 a.m. we woke up and discovered our house was full of water," said Joan Clipp.

South Daytona resident Joan Clipp took this photo of the flooded driveway and street in front of her home on Thursday afternoon, Sept. 29, 2022 in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Ian. Her home also got flooded on the inside.
South Daytona resident Joan Clipp took this photo of the flooded driveway and street in front of her home on Thursday afternoon, Sept. 29, 2022 in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Ian. Her home also got flooded on the inside.

Mike Clipp said the water mostly came in from under the garage door and front and back doors of the house.

"We had sand bags in front of our doors, but the water went above the sand bags," he said. "It got at least two feet deep in the street."

"We put our couch up on two-by-fours but we ran out of two-by-fours," he said.

Joan Clipp said she and her husband managed to save their photos and wedding album but said the flooding ruined most of their furniture as well as several hundred books that they still had in boxes in their garage.

As of Friday morning, the Clipps remained hunkered down in their home on Oriole Lane, just south of Big Tree Road, along with their two dogs.

"We've got nowhere else to go," said Joan Clipp.

Mike Clipp said the water level in the house by Friday morning had gone down to about an inch in height, but said the street in front remained underwater by about 1 1/2 feet.

"Thank God we got flood insurance," said Joan Clipp. "We've already made a claim."

― Clayton Park 

12:55 p.m. | Port Orange police rescue flood victims via boat

Carmen Ruiz, second from the right, the co-owner of the Fastsigns sign shop in Holly Hill, posted on Facebook this photo of her and some of her family members being rescued by boat by the Port Orange Police Department from her sister's home in Port Orange late Thursday afternoon, Sept. 29, 2022. The house as well as the entire area near the intersection of Devon Street and Taylor Road got flooded by Tropical Storm Ian, making it impossible for cars to get through, she said.
Carmen Ruiz, second from the right, the co-owner of the Fastsigns sign shop in Holly Hill, posted on Facebook this photo of her and some of her family members being rescued by boat by the Port Orange Police Department from her sister's home in Port Orange late Thursday afternoon, Sept. 29, 2022. The house as well as the entire area near the intersection of Devon Street and Taylor Road got flooded by Tropical Storm Ian, making it impossible for cars to get through, she said.

Carmen Ruiz, co-owner of the Fastsigns Daytona Beach sign shop, recently celebrated her business's new location at Third Street and Nova Road in Holly Hill with a ribbon-cutting event.

Little did she guess that it would wind up serving as an emergency shelter for her and her extended family during Tropical Storm Ian after they were rescued via boat from her sister's flooded home in Port Orange.

Ruiz said she and several of her relatives decided to hunker down Wednesday night ahead of Tropical Storm Ian's arrival at her sister's home near the intersection of Devon Street and Taylor Road in Port Orange. They included her mom, her two sisters, her two brothers-in-law and five nieces, as well as seven dogs.

"We were trying to be safe and go inland," she said.

Water started seeping into the house shortly after 6 a.m. Thursday. By noon, the water level inside the home had risen to at least a full foot in height.

"Outside our cars were covered up to the windows. The street itself had at least three to four feet of water," Ruiz said. The house also lost power.

"We called the emergency hotline number that Volusia County gave and then went online and filled out the survey on my mom's phone, which was the only one that was still getting Internet service, but only intermittently. Everyone else's was out," Ruiz recalled.

Port Orange police officers arrived by boat shortly after 5 p.m. and rescued a neighboring family first before transporting Ruiz and her family to dry land.

"It took two trips," said Ruiz, who posted a photo on Facebook of her, her mom, her twin sister Lorena and her five nieces, in the first boatload.

Ruiz said she and her family spent the night at the Fastsigns shop sleeping on production tables.

"It didn't get flooded, but is still out of power," she said in a phone interview Friday morning.

"Port Orange Police Department Thank you for saving the day!," wrote Ruiz in her Facebook post. "We had our dogs and entire family together and they made sure we were safe, evacuated and together. They were so kind to my two nieces with Down syndrome. My heart is full after such a long day." ― Clayton Park 

12:49 p.m. | Flagler residents asked to conserve water, follow safety guidelines

Officials stress that weather impacts from Hurricane Ian will continue to affect Flagler County for another day – particularly during periods of high tides – and urge residents to follow safety guidelines. Additionally, residents are asked to continue to conserve water as wastewater systems are taxed from heavy rainfall and flooding.

While Flagler County received less rain than expected, totals exceeded 10 inches in some areas, according to Flagler Emergency Management Specialist Bob Pickering.

Volusia County near the Flagler line received close to 20 inches, according to a release from Flagler County – problematic for the area since the St. Johns River flows north, which could bring even more water. This will affect Haw Creek, Dead Lake and Crescent Lake.

High tide for the Intracoastal Waterway is between 3 and 5 p.m. and is expected to be 2 to 4 feet above normal.

High tide for the Atlantic Coast is between noon and 1 p.m. and 2 to 4 feet above normal with dangerous surf conditions.

“Don’t let down your guard just because the worst of the storm is past,” said Emergency Management Director Jonathan Lord. “There are a number of hazards to be cautious about for the safety of you and your family.”

Top safety concerns:

  • Stay away from floodwaters as there can be sewage and other toxins – and wildlife, such as snakes and alligators.

  • Use extreme caution as powerlines are re-energized – treat every downed powerline as live until FPL confirms otherwise.

  • Be careful when using a generator.

  • Ventilation is critical to reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning – keep generators outdoors and away from windows.

  • Ground generators by properly following the instructions.

  • Keep generators dry to avoid short circuits.

  • Don’t back-feed power (plugging the generator into a wall outlet).

  • Do not keep fuel near the generator while the generator is in use.

  • Never refuel the generator while it is running.

  • As always, use power tools and chainsaws with appropriate protective gear.

― Staff report

12:43 p.m. | Power mostly restored at Stetson University

Electricity was restored to most of Stetson University’s campus late Friday morning, according to a news release.

“The university’s cooling plant is operating and providing air-conditioning to buildings, although not yet at full capacity,” the news release states.

Students, faculty, staff and others who are not already on campus are asked to wait until operations are restored to normal before returning.

Facilities management staffers are checking buildings for damage and possible water intrusion, and public safety officers are checking the fire safety systems.

Next week’s undergraduate classes and counselor education graduate classes will largely be moved online Monday through Wednesday.

“Students who are not able to engage in-person for whatever reason will have access to an alternate manner of class engagement,” the release states. ― Katie Kustura

Beach approach at Van Avenue Park is littered with debris on Friday, Sept. 30, 2022.
Beach approach at Van Avenue Park is littered with debris on Friday, Sept. 30, 2022.

12:26 p.m. | Crescent Lake, Dead Lake waters expected to rise for days

Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly said on Friday morning that water levels on Crescent Lake and Dead Lake are expected to continue to rise for the next seven to 10 days.

Staly said deputies rescued a parent and three juveniles from the double-L section in Palm Coast on Thursday night. He said that the family was worried as water rose toward their house.

Deputies used the Sheriff’s Office high-water vehicle to reach the family. They then took them to a shelter.

Staly said that State Road 100 remained treacherous but passable due to flooding in the area of the Bimini Bar west of Bunnell.

He said the Mondex, a rural area also known as Daytona North which is west of Bunnell, is flooded.

“There are many dirt roads that are impassable,” Staly said. “Many of the homes are surrounded by water out there.”

Many ranches are also inundated in the county’s west end.

“A lot of the cattle ranches out there are now lakes,” Staly said.

He said he had no reports of injuries or deaths due to Hurricane Ian in Flagler County. ― Frank Fernandez

12:22 p.m. | State Road 100 bridge is open

Flagler Beach Police Chief Matt Doughney wrote on Facebook that the State Road 100 bridge is open.

“We appreciate everyone's patience and understanding of the closure and we're glad to restore a return to normalcy post IAN. Stay safe!,” the department stated in a Facebook post. ― Frank Fernandez and Sheldon Gardner

11:28 a.m. | Surviving Hurricane Ian: NSB resident who rode out storm describes destruction

Kathy Blackman and her husband live on Wayne Avenue in New Smyrna Beach and described a frightening scene as flood waters rose. The couple live nearly two miles from where the man died on Lake Drive in his flooded house.

Blackman took refuge on the bed with their three dogs as flood waters rose in their dark house. They had electricity but they had turned it off at the breakers due to the water flowing into their home. She said she could hear their house breaking apart as the water rose.

“We were in the dark on the bed listening to the house sounds and I said, 'It’s like being on the Titanic,'" she said.

They decided that the water was rising too high in their bedroom, so they moved to the garage.

“The dogs had to doggie paddle through the house, and then we got out to the garage,” Blackman said.

They waited inside their flooded SUV in the garage. They opened the garage doors so rescuers would see them and watched as their possessions from the garage floated away.

Flood waters had submerged their car in the driveway and the electrical system was shorting out, so the car’s blinkers were flashing.

The National Guard arrived in a large truck and rescued them and the dogs, helping them through the darkness and chest-high water in the road and onto the truck.

“We made it,” she said. ― Frank Fernandez and Nancy Niles 

11:20 a.m. | Volusia County press conference set for 3 p.m.

Volusia County government officials will host a news conference at 3 p.m. today at the Emergency Operations Center in Daytona Beach to talk about the county's disaster response and give safety updates to residents.

The event will be streamed live on the Volusia County Emergency Management Facebook page and the County of Volusia YouTube. ― Sheldon Gardner

11:15 a.m. | Most of NSB still without power, close to 200 residents relocated

New Smyrna Beach experienced major flooding throughout the city on Thursday buffeted by 18 to 24 inches of rain in 24 hours, prompting the need for numerous evacuations, according to a city announcement on social media.

Approximately 180 citizens were relocated to emergency shelters to escape the rising waters.

"The intense rains have made many roadways throughout the city impassable isolating sections of the community," the announcement said. "Residents are advised not to drive through standing water, especially if there is water flow."

The city's fire department said on Friday morning that the South and North Causeway bridges "have officially been re-opened."

Hurricane Ian’s gusts of up to 95 mph and sustained winds toppled several trees, disrupting power throughout the city. 18,359 of the 29,942 city’s customers are currently without power.

New Smyrna Beach Utility crews are currently working to assess damage and will continue to reestablish services.

In addition to the standing water, numerous downed trees have blocked city roads. City Maintenance Operations staff are currently working to clean city facilities and parks. Officials are also reminding residents not to "attempt to remove limbs from the road if there are power lines tangle in them," as these may still be active.

Florida National Guard personnel have been deployed to New Smyrna Beach to assist in the community in its recovery efforts. Please monitor the city’s Facebook page or call the Community Information Center at 386-402-7675 for the latest updates and information. ― Brenno Carillo 

11:11 a.m. | More bridges cleared to open in Volusia

The Florida Department of Transportation has cleared the following bridges to open, according to a Volusia County news release:

  • Dunlawton Bridge (Port Orange)

  • North and South Causeways (New Smyrna Beach)

  • 1-92 International Speedway Bridge (Daytona)

  • Main Street Bridge (Daytona)

  • Orange Ave. Bridge (Daytona)

  • Granada Bridge (Ormond)

  • Seabreeze Bridge (Daytona)

  • Barracuda Bridge (New Smyrna Beach)

― Sheldon Gardner

11:02 a.m. | Volusia man dies after falling in home during Hurricane Ian flooding

A Volusia County man died Thursday night after he fell inside his house, and he could not stand back up as Ian’s flood waters rose above him, according to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office.

It was the second death in Volusia County during Ian. The first happened about 1 a.m. Thursday when a 72-year-old man fell into a canal in Deltona.

The 67-year-old man and his wife were on a list to be rescued by crews in a high-water vehicle, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

But the man fell inside the home at 1994 Lake Drive, which is near New Smyrna Beach in unincorporated Volusia, and could not get back on his feet as flood waters rose above him, the release stated.

Deputies in a high-water vehicle arrived about 10:30 p.m. to the home In a heavily-flooded area where water was at about waist level, making the neighborhood unreachable by patrol vehicles, the release stated.

Rescuers were unable to revive the man and he was pronounced dead at the scene, the release stated. His wife and two dogs in the house were taken to a storm shelter. A deputy also recovered a third dog from the home and transported it to an animal shelter. ― Frank Fernandez 

10:52 a.m. | Flagler residents facing Tropical Storm Ian damage can sign up for Crisis Cleanup

Flagler Volunteer Services, a private, nonprofit 501(c)(3) agency operating in Flagler County, is urging residents whose property was damaged by Tropical Storm Ian to call and register with Crisis Cleanup.

Crisis Cleanup is a coordination website recommended and used by Flagler Volunteer Services specifically designed to connect disaster survivors with volunteers who can help.

“Most disaster relief and response organizations from around the country use Crisis Cleanup to step in at a very local level in the wake of a large-scale event,” said Flagler Volunteer Services Executive Director Suzy Gamblain. “We will be working with both local and national groups.”

In the case of Tropical Storm Ian, assistance could include hauling debris to the curb, removing mud or damaged drywall from a home, or tarping a roof. Not all damages are within scope, but for recovery activities that generally don’t require specialized skills, Crisis Cleanup can identify a willing volunteer pool.

“All residents who have sustained any property damage should call the Ian Hotline 800-451-1954,” said Judy Mazzella, project director at Flagler Volunteer Services. “Crisis Cleanup will take your information, make a damage report and, once you register, you don’t have to call a second time.”

For information on Crisis Cleanup, visit crisiscleanup.org/survivor. ― Ashley Varese 

Street sign and other debris litter South Atlantic Avenue in Daytona Beach Shores on Friday, Sept. 30, 2022.
Street sign and other debris litter South Atlantic Avenue in Daytona Beach Shores on Friday, Sept. 30, 2022.

10:45 a.m. | Widespread power outages ongoing after Hurricane Ian

As of Friday morning, 194,042 power outages were reported in Volusia County and 22,883 outages were reported in Flagler County. ― Sheldon Gardner

10:39 a.m. | Several bridges open in Volusia

Florida Department of Transportation officials are inspecting bridges across the county, and several have reopened, according to a Volusia County news release. It's up to law enforcement to allow drivers over a bridge.

Open:

  • Dunlawton Bridge (Port Orange)

  • North and South Causeways (New Smyrna Beach)

  • 1-92 International Speedway Bridge (Daytona)

  • Main Street Bridge (Daytona)

  • Orange Ave. Bridge (Daytona)

  • Granada Bridge (Ormond)

Not open:

  • Seabreeze Bridge (Daytona)

  • Barracuda Bridge (New Smyrna Beach)

― Sheldon Gardner

10:05 a.m. | Many roads still flooded on Friday morning in Volusia County

Volusia County officials are urging people to stay off roads unless travel is "absolutely essential," according to a county news release.

"Many roads are still underwater, and trees and powerlines are down," county officials said in a post on the Volusia County Emergency Management Facebook page. "TRAVEL SLOWLY and be hyper-aware if you have to drive on the streets! Treat the intersection as a four-way stop if you are approaching a traffic signal that is not operating. Traffic from all four directions must STOP. USE EXTRA CAUTION, as road conditions may not be what you're used to."

The Citizens Information Center is available for questions at 866-345-0345. People can also go to Volusia.org/PIN for information. ― Sheldon Gardner

This article originally appeared on The Daytona Beach News-Journal: Ian Friday updates: Widespread damage, 3 deaths reported in Volusia