Tropical storm spares Volusia and Flagler
BY ANDREAS BUTLER
Minimal damage was reported from Tropical Storm Isaias in Volusia and Flagler counties.
Volusia County reported some branches down, minimal beach erosion, no flooding or power outages during Monday morning’s emergency management press conference.
Bridges remained open and on early Monday morning most beach ramps and tolls were already reopened.
The storm provided a scare but did very little locally.
“We were prepared. We had staff on hand. We had our emergency center set up and did a lot virtually,” said Jim Judge, Volusia County Emergency Management director.
Lost its strength
Isaias passed by the area on Monday as a tropical storm with sustained winds of 70 miles per hour with the eye of the storm staying about 30 to 40 miles offshore.
It was originally projected to pass by as a category 1 Hurricane but lost strength due to dry air and wind shear.
Isaias was a hurricane when it was in the Caribbean and when it first got off the coast of Florida.
Local authorities say they were prepared for the storm and will be for future storms.
“We had a plan in place, and it worked. We don’t want to be in any storms in the future, but we will be prepared,” said Volusia County Chair Ed Kelly.
The storm became a hurricane again as a Category 1 late Monday, then hit landfall early Tuesday near Charleston, South Carolina. It then moved up the northeastern coast of the U.S. on Tuesday and Wednesday.
No need for shelters
The county did get plenty of calls before the storm.
“We had a lot of calls mostly about oxygen tank concerns and you can hook them up to generators,” said Judge.
The county also opened up shelters at DeLand high school, Galaxy Middle (DeLand), Freedom Elementary (Deltona) and the Volusia County Fair Grounds (DeLand) on Saturday Aug. 1. But by the next day all of the shelters were closed.
“We opened up shelters but didn’t really have a need for them. The few people that showed up decided to go home as conditions changed,’’ Judge related.
One local resident was pleased that Isaias didn’t really come to town.“I’m glad it passed us.
I’m glad there was no flooding, no power outages and the food didn’t go bad. It’s just a miserable experience,” said Tambrina McCants.
McCants also believes that storm damage and problems would only worsen the current coronavirus pandemic.
“A hurricane or a tropical storm wouldn’t be good for anyone to deal with right now, especially during these hard times,” she said. “With COVID-19, a lot of people need all the help they can get.”