DAYTONA BEACH – As deadly Hurricane Dorian approaches the Florida coast, some are still watching the storm literally, while others are preparing to evacuate.
Here in Daytona Beach, folks have been told to stay out of the water because of the pending danger, but some have not been heeding the warning…it’s just too tempting for them. It’s the kind of surf that makes some want to grab their boards and head for the waves. But the double red flags flying high signal no one is supposed to be in the water.
Not only are lifeguards leaving, but officials warn the tide is already drawing dangerous debris close to shore, just beneath the surface. The water warning is a new development as Dorian expands in size and draws nearer to the coastline of Florida.
Another new order has been issued, including mandatory evacuations for the some residents in the county. The local transit system is helping some get to the shelters on the other side of the county for free.
Resident Sammy King is heading to a shelter. “This is great for somebody that doesn’t have transportation. I had to work, yesterday and my people rode out,” he said.
Buses are taking residents to shelters like one at the Volusia County Fairgrounds. It’s a pet friendly shelter which means two sisters we spoke with could keep their pets Bonnie and Bandit by their side as they ride out the storm.
“It’s very important, I mean these are like our kids you know,” Mary Greenlaw explained. “Because look at all these other hurricanes where these dogs get lost.”
Janice Howarth says it makes all the difference especially in this stressful time. “She’s my comfort dog, she’s a big comfort to me,” she said. “If I get kinda antsy she’ll curl up in my lap and I can snuggle with her.”
As the storm approaches there are sure to be some antsy moments. But many people are boarding up businesses and homes and filling sandbags to protect their property as best they can. And in some parts of the county there will be a curfew from six o’clock Tuesday night until 6 a.m. on Wednesday.
Here in Volusia County, officials say they’re expecting tropical storm force winds to pick up throughout the afternoon and last for 24 to 48 hours.