Daytona Beach, FL – Florence is forecasted to make landfall in the Carolinas later tonight, and along with it comes poor surf conditions in Volusia.
As of 5 a.m. this morning (September 13th), the National Hurricane reported that Hurricane Florence is moving Northwest at 15 mph with sustained winds at 110 mph, which leads to the hurricane being downgraded to a Category 2, after having been a Category 4 for most of the week.
Track Courtesy of the National Hurricane Center
Even though the hurricane has lost strength, it’s still expected to make a significant impact when it makes landfall on the coast of the Carolinas.
And while it’s north of Florida, some wonder what kind of impact it would have locally.
“We’ll still see some rough surf and high risk of rip currents into the weekend,” said Tim Sedlock, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Melbourne. “There’s possible moderate beach erosion as well through today, tomorrow, and possibly some lesser effects into the weekend.”
Both Volusia County and Flagler County have started preparations for Florence ahead of its landfall tonight.
According to Kate Sark, the Community Information Specialist with Volusia, the county’s coastal division has begun to prepare the beaches for high wave impacts and a possible super-tide. This includes removing trash cans, port-a-lets, and other smaller items from low-lying sections of the beach and moving toll booths higher.
Sark also says that beachgoers are encouraged to utilize off-beach parking through the end of the week as high tides are expected to close beach-driving in most areas.
Conditions are expected to return back to normal by Saturday. And when beachgoers return to the beaches, they’re to be on alert for any marine life that has washed up on the beaches, including turtles, turtle nests, and eggs.
Per Sark, anyone who finds turtle eggs or washback turtles should call Beach Safety at 386-239-6414.
North in Flagler, officials are saying the effects will likely be minimal.
According to their report, they say it’s unlikely any significant impacts will come to the Intracoastal Waterway unless wind conditions change, which would restrict the flow of the Intracoastal.
“County staff will be monitoring weather conditions and conditions on the ground for any breaches or any other developing coastal impacts,” said County Administrator Craig Coffey. “County staff will be ready to respond if necessary.”
Flagler residents can visit the county emergency management website to sign up for AlertFlagler notifications as well as information to find out how to prepare.
Flagler County is proud to share our public safety resources with those expected to be most in need. 2 Florida strike teams, led by Richard Bennett & Jason Powell from Flagler County Fire Rescue, are shown on their way to assist with the evacuation of a coastal community in NC pic.twitter.com/Vx4K3doHLo
— FlaglerCountyGov (@FlaglerCtyGov) September 12, 2018
Flagler has also mobilized two strike teams from Flagler County Fire Rescue yesterday to assist with the evacuation of coastal communities in North Carolina.
Some Florida colleges are also feeling the effects far before its landfall. The University of Central Florida canceled their game against the University of North Carolina and Stetson University’s game against Presbyterian College was also canceled.
Florence’s landfall is expected sometime later tonight with the impact lasting possibly up to Tuesday, according to the NHC. It’s forecasted hit as a Category 2 then begin to weaken as soon as it makes it over land.
For those that wish to track the hurricane, the National Hurricane Center releases updates every three hours beginning at 2 a.m., you can visit their website for more information.
Title Photo, Hurricane Florence as seen from the ISS, is Courtesy of NASA.