DAYTONA BEACH — Volusia County officials are still urging residents to stay off the roads as rescue crews continue their operations throughout the flooded cities.
“Property and material possessions can be replaced, but your life cannot,” said Kevin Captain, community information director for the county, at an afternoon press conference at the Emergency Operations Center in Daytona Beach. “Over the last few hours, you may have noticed a slight decrease in both the intensity of the rain and the wind; however, officials anticipate another round of rainfall late this evening extending into the early hours of tomorrow.”
Many roads have high water levels, “making driving conditions impossible or extremely dangerous.”
Captain reemphasized the message for residents to “stay off the roads until further notice.”
City managers countywide are reporting widespread flooding, Captain said.
Daytona airport remains closed; more residents seeking help from shelters
The Daytona Beach International Airport remains closed, Captain said, while reports of flooding at the Daytona International Speedway have not yet been confirmed.
As of 1 p.m. on Thursday, 361 residents sought assistance from county shelters — an increase from the morning count of around 300.
“We are aware some residents will be displaced from their homes as a result of the storm,” he said. “We are coordinating efforts with the American Red Cross and other community partners to establish temporary housing arrangements for these citizens.”
The county is also working on providing these residents long-term shelter assistance.
As of 2 p.m., more than 247,000 Volusia County customers are currently without power.
Linda Webster-Dubea, regional manager for Florida Power & Light, said at the press conference that the company is trying to restore power “as safely and as quickly as possible.”
“Crews have been working and will continue to work around the clock to restore service,” Dubea said. “We have mobilized 37 staging, parking and processing sites to support this effort.”
Volusia County Emergency Management Director Jim Judge said the good new is that Tropical Storm Ian is moving off the coast, but it will continue to produce additional gusts later in the afternoon and evening.
“We can expect an additional 1 to 3 inches of rain tonight,” Judge said.
Tomorrow and over the next few days, Judge added, “we are going to have drier conditions.”
“Temperatures are going to be in the 80s and possibly down into the 60s at night, so much better weather ahead,” Judge said. “And we are hoping the water will subside and we can get back out there again.”
Fire rescue, beach safety and other first responders are still in the “response mode,” Judge said, adding that “as we move forward, we are going to get into the recovery phase, and that’s still a day or two away.”
Judge encouraged residents to continue monitoring the county’s storm information as it leaves the area.
For updates, visit volusia.org/pin or call the Citizens’ Information Center at 866-345-0345.
Resources for displaced residents include the American Red Cross at redcross.org and FEMA’s website at ready.gov.
This article originally appeared on The Daytona Beach News-Journal: Volusia officials still urge residents to stay inside during Ian flood