'When the storm is over,' said Mayor Don Burnette, 'please stay put! Check on your neighbors. Stay off the roads. Give crews a chance to work.'
Port Orange City Council held an emergency meeting this morning at 8:30 to update information on Hurricane Dorian and how the city is prepared to handle emergency preparations for citizens.
The city has set up an emergency call center at 386-506-5999 which will be manned 24/7 as the storm moves closer.
At this time, there will be no trash pick up on Monday, unless posted otherwise.
Updates for what is happening in the city can be found on the Facebook page. Go to Port Orange City Hall and hit Like and Share for most recent information.
The city requests residents keep palm fronds and yard waste in their garage until after the storm in order to keep drainage ditches open. Council stressed it is too late to do major tree trimming. Any tree limbs or cut up trees can result in clogging drains and become dangerous projectiles.
City Manager Jake Johansson reported that as of 5 this morning, Dorian has become slower and is moving more to the south; however, it is picking up strength as it slows.
Johansson presented the European model for tracking the storm as the most accurate one to go by. Johansson also shared the GFS model which has the storm going more toward the northwest coast, but loops around toward Jacksonville again, and out toward the Atlantic.
As a result, the outer bands of the storm could affect Port Orange. That could mean constant winds and rain for a longer time.
The Public Works and Utilities teams are “ready to go” with pumps and stations set in the high flood areas where drainage does not do well. There are pumps on stand by if needed. All the lift stations are also prepared.
“Drainage wise, we are in better shape this time than we were last time,” Johansson said.
Nova Canal and Cambridge Canal have been cleaned and drained.
Sandbag sites are open today until 7 p.m. Port Orange City website has information on locations.
Public ponds will get pumped down as necessary. The city does not pump down private ponds. The city does not have the infrastructure to handle the private sector.
Debris removal is in place with contractors ready to work after the storm. The location for collected debris is the same as for Irma: on Hensel Road, in the Kings Landing area.
The procedure is the same as last time. After the storm, residents should put their debris in front of their house. Clean up crews will be around to pick it up. Johansson hopes to “have a little more heads up” this time for what the pick up schedule will be for neighborhoods and will get that to the public.
Private sectors will be last on the list for debris pick up. They can, however, remove their own debris and take it to the Public Works at 413 Oak St.
“We have always had water for our citizens,” Johansson said. “I call it St. Juice that comes out of the tap. We don’t intend to stop that practice during this event. You should have plenty of water.”
Johansson said residents can use rain water, pool water and retention pond water to flush toilets if needed.
Police and fire are ready to do their job. Volusia County is prepared to help get people out of high water conditions if necessary. Fire Chief Fustin has a brush truck that can be use for rescues. An emergency helicopter is in DeLand in case rescues are needed.
There is a lack of communication between the sheriff and local police departments regarding bridge closure. Johansson said they will let him know their decision by the close of business today.
After the storm, bridges need to be inspected and certified safe before traffic is allowed back on them.
City Hall will be closed on Monday and may be closed Tuesday as well. Info will be posted on the city website.
The regular City Council meeting on Sept. 3 is postponed until Thursday, September 5.
Mayor Don Burnette said that there is gasoline in the area. As stations run out, trucks are on their way to replenish gasoline. He cautioned, however, that as the cone of the storm changes, it will affect where the priority for gas and supply trucks go. He said the Publix on Taylor and Dunlawton have supplies.
The possibility of flooding remains a concern for the city. “You can’t put water inside of water,” Councilman Scott Stiltner said. “Ten inches of rain water can create up to 4 to 5 feet of flooding in roads.”
“If the Nova Canal System, which is a county system, flows down toward Port Orange,” said Burnette, “there is little the city can do to keep the water out.”
The final statement from Burnette was about after the storm. “When the storm is over, stay in your neighborhood," he said. “Check on your neighbors. Stay off the roads. Give the work crews a chance to get out on the roads to restore quality of life. Please stay put!”