UPDATE 07/31 at 4 p.m.:
Include a hurricane in your weekend plans
Barring a sudden shift away from the Sunshine State, Hurricane Isaias promises to bring some foul weather during the latter half of the weekend.
Volusia County’s Emergency Operations Center is monitoring the storm.
The Category 1 storm, with sustained winds of 75 miles per hour, may become better organized and strengthen over the warmer waters of the Caribbean Sea as it moves northwestward. Based on the best information available at 2 p.m. Friday, July 31, County Emergency Management Director Jim Judge said the center of Hurricane Isaias is expected to remain about “70 to 80 miles east of Daytona Beach'' overnight Saturday, Aug. 1, and on Sunday, Aug. 2. Isaias will bring tropical storm conditions to the county’s coastline and inland, with winds between 35-45 mph, with rainfall anticipated to total between 2-4 inches. Judge asked residents to prepare for the storm by securing outside property against the higher-velocity winds.
“Now is the time to take down the wind chimes, the hanging plants,” he said, adding “small items can become a missile.”
Thus far, the county has not opened any shelters, Judge said.
Weather experts in east central Florida are warning residents to be on the lookout for impacts from Hurricane Isaias, a storm sitting over the southern Bahamas as of Friday morning.
The Category 1 storm packed sustained winds of 75 mph as of 11 a.m. Friday, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.
The Hurricane Center projects the storm to track closely along the Florida coast over the weekend and into early Monday, with the eastern half of the peninsula in the "cone of uncertainty" of the storm's path as of Friday morning’s forecast.
“A Tropical Storm Watch continues for the coastal counties of Indian River, Saint Lucie and Martin, for winds increasing to tropical storm force as Isaias moves slowly northward offshore the Treasure Coast Saturday through Saturday night, Brevard county late Saturday night and Sunday morning, and Volusia County Sunday afternoon into Sunday night,” reads part of a statement from forecasters at the National Weather Service in Melbourne.
“Based on the latest forecast track, the greatest threat for tropical storm conditions this weekend continues to be over the barrier islands of the coastal counties,” the outlook continues. “However, any westward deviation of the forecast track would bring stronger winds farther inland, with the potential for damaging winds and gusts along the barrier islands.
Volusia County was not planning to open hurricane shelters as of Friday morning.
For the latest information from the county, including where to get sandbags in various cities throughout Volusia, visit https://www.volusia.org/services/public-protection/emergency-management/pin/tropical-system.stml.
For the latest forecasts from the National Hurricane Center, visit www.nhc.noaa.gov.
— Anthony DeFeo