UPDATE AUG. 19 11:00 A.M.:
The City of DeLand has declared a state of emergency. There are still around 1,000 residents without power, in the latest from Duke Energy, and there will be a news briefing at 3 p.m. today at DeLand City Hall, 120 South Florida Ave., DeLand.
UPDATE AUG. 19 10:00 A.M.:
From the City of DeLand:
– Most of the roads in DeLand have reopened. North Woodland Boulevard is partially open with traffic flowing in both directions.
– Most of the tree debris has been pushed off to the side and crews will be picking that up in the coming days.
– Power is still out for roughly 1,000 people, according to Duke Energy. It could be a while. We know it is hot but please be patient, they’re working as quickly and safely as possible.
– If you received storm damage, be extra cautious with shady contractors. We’ve already seen reports that “storm chasers” were out and about trying to get business last night. report any suspicious solicitations to the Florida Attorney General by calling the Fraud Hotline at 1-866-966-7226 or reporting the caller to the Better Business Bureau.
UPDATE 9:00 P.M.:
North Woodland Boulevard is not expected to reopen until tomorrow morning, the City of DeLand reports. Tree crews from the city and county are continuing to respond, and officials ask citizens to avoid the area.
The American Red Cross is in north DeLand and providing shelter, food, water and assistance to residents, who are asked to show proof of residence. Reach them at 1-800-RED-CROSS.
UPDATE 8:30 P.M.:
The American Red Cross is on the scene at the Lowes at 303 E. International Speedway Blvd. in DeLand, and more than 11,000 homes and businesses are without power, the county reports.
The National Weather Service will arrive tomorrow to assess the damage and to officially confirm the tornado activity, Volusia County Community Information reports.
The Florida Division of Emergency Management will also be sending a team to assist local authorities.
UPDATE 8:15 P.M.:
The City of DeLand official Facebook page is reporting that despite the significant storm damage, there have so far been no reports of injuries or loss of life.
“We’ve visited residents of all ages who have lost roofs and vehicles, but they are OK and getting help they need,” the post reads. “Lots of neighbors helping neighbors.”
ORIGINAL STORY BELOW
The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office and DeLand Police Department have set up a command post on North Woodland Boulevard in DeLand this evening, to assist residents who have damage from a possible tornado.
For those looking for family members, a reunification center has been set up at 843 N. Woodland Blvd.
The Beacon has received numerous reports of heavy damage in a 1-mile radius of the intersection of North Woodland Boulevard and Plymouth Avenue: power lines down, trees down, streets flooded and other damage.
One report said dozens of trees were felled by wind in Oakdale Cemetery, which runs south of Plymouth Avenue west of Clara Avenue.
In Downtown DeLand, West New York Avenue was flooded in the vicinity of City Hall and the Hotel Putnam.
A Beacon staff member driving home to Northwest DeLand shortly after 4 p.m. after voting at the Chisholm Community Center encountered extensive storm damage stretching from State Road 15A (the truck route) to DeLand High School on North Hill Avenue.
The National Weather Service in Melbourne had received reports of “structural damage along with large trees snapped in north DeLand,” noting it was a possible tornado, according to a local storm report.
This story will be updated as soon as additional information is available.