Hurricane Dorian is now a category 4 storm.
Tropical storm-force winds could reach Volusia County around noon or 1 p.m. Tuesday, Volusia County Emergency Management Director Jim Judge said at a news conference Monday, adding that residents should follow the mandatory evacuation orders for the beachside, low-lying areas, mobile home and RV parks. Shelters opened at 10 a.m. today.
Hurricane Dorian is currently battering Grand Bahama island and moving slowly westward at 1 mph, stated the 11 a.m. National Hurricane Center advisory. The hurricane is then forecasted to move "dangerously close" to Florida's east coast late Monday through Wednesday evening. Maximum sustained winds have dropped slightly to 155 mph, and it is now a category 4.
Judge said tropical storm-force winds could last for 24 hours, and Volusia may see 2-4 inches or rain, as well as 4-7 feet of storm surge. Dorian is expected to pick up speed Tuesday through Wednesday, and Volusia is under a local state of emergency.
There are 15 shelters open in Volusia County.
Capt. Tammy Malphurs of Volusia County Beach Safety said the agency is flying a double-red flag on beaches. There is already debris in the water. Lifeguard towers and traffic signs have been taken off the beach, so no vehicles are currently being allowed in. The tides are hitting the seawalls in some areas, though no beach erosion has taken place yet, she said.
Though people may want to go back to the beach once Dorian passes, Malphurs said Beach Safety will continue flying a double-red flag after the storm due to debris.
“We want everyone to stay out of the water," Malphurs said.
The Daytona Beach Airport terminal will close at 6 p.m. today. The Volusia County landfill is open today, but will close Tuesday and Wednesday. Volusia County offices will be closed Tuesday and Wednesday as well, and schools are closed through Thursday and all related activities cancelled.