Central Florida visitors and residents urged to stay away from beaches ahead of storm

Storm forming over Florida beach – Courtesy: Shutterstock – Image by Holly Mazour

Over the past week, hurricanes have been quickly developing in the Atlantic. Despite the fact that Hurricanes Lisa and Martin had little effect on Florida, a new disturbance is building up in the Atlantic and might potentially affect Florida in some areas.

Officials in Volusia County and Flagler County said on Thursday that they will be monitoring the storm, which poses a threat to Florida’s coastline. There is a risk that the storm will impact the Sunshine State.

The storm, which is now positioned close to the Bahamas, is anticipated to start bringing severe weather on Sunday and last into the coming week.

The Intracoastal Waterway may experience modest flooding, according to Flagler County officials, since tides are predicted to be nearly a foot over average.

“Our greatest concerns are the coastal impacts from higher tides and surf, waves of up to 7 feet,” said Emergency Management Director Jonathan Lord. “This could further damage our already significantly-weakened dune system.”

Flagler County officials said property owners who live on the coast should brace themselves for “direct impacts to dune systems and beaches.”

The famous Flagler Beach Pier is undergoing restoration after Hurricane Ian wiped out the surrounding sand dunes and old pier.

If another storm were to strike, the county would be extremely exposed and vulnerable due to the devastation of the sand dunes.

Officials from Volusia County have also issued a warning to coastal residents, telling them to prepare for rough seas and waves that break up to 12 feet tall. They predicted that once the storm passes, the likelihood of coastal erosion will rise.

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

Volusia County officials are advising locals and visitors to avoid the beach this weekend and through the beginning of next week.

Beach conditions for this impending weather event are not favorable for beachgoers due to the loss of our sand buffer from Hurricane Ian and the severe coastal damage already endured, the county warned.

Parts of Volusia County were devastated by Hurricane Ian, including a shopping center in Daytona Beach that was almost unrecognizable after the storm.

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