down downtown executive center sign hurricane nicole
SIGN DOWN — Damage in Downtown DeLand appears to be minimal for the most part, but the sign at the Executive Center along West Georgia Avenue succumbed to Tropical Storm Nicole's winds overnight.

Update, 2 p.m.: Damage to Volusia’s east coast ‘unprecedented,’ Astor under major flood stage

While the storm has mostly moved to other parts of Florida, the effects of now-Tropical Storm Nicole will be felt for some time locally.

“Even though the storm has left our area, danger still lurks in Volusia County,” Community Information Director Kevin Captain said at a 2 p.m. news conference. 

For the foreseeable future, people are heavily discouraged from going to Volusia County beaches.

“If you go anywhere near the beach, you are putting your life in jeopardy,” Beach Safety Deputy Chief Tammy Malphurs said. “If you set foot in the water, you might not make it out.”

As was apparent earlier, Volusia County’s east side received the worst of Nicole’s effects. The damage to the coast was “nothing we’ve ever experienced before,” Captain said.

No deaths have been attributed to the storm, but county officials reported one injury and three water rescues conducted by the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office. 

In addition, 11 structures in Daytona Beach Shores and Ormond-by-the-Sea have been identified as unsafe because of beach erosion and pounding by storm-driven waves. More unsafe buildings may be identified later, county officials said.

In West Volusia, the St. Johns River is at a major flood stage, and Astor residents were warned that flooding could occur. 

When the county’s east side and its beaches will be safer is unclear, officials said, but the cleanup effort will take time.

DOUBLE WHAMMY — This Volusia County government photo shows beachside damage following Hurricane Ian, which compromised a number of structures along the coast. The follow-up punch by Hurricane Nicole has made things worse, county officials said.

In the meantime, shelter is available in three locations: 

— Creekside Middle School, 6801 Airport Road in Port Orange (general population)

— Heritage Middle School, 1001 Parnell Court in Deltona (general population and special needs)

— David C. Hinson Middle School, 1860 N. Clyde Morris Blvd. in Daytona Beach (special needs)

In total, around 200 people — and 26 pets — took advantage of the county’s shelters. Anyone still in need of shelter is encouraged to seek refuge at the three still-open shelters or to contact the county’s citizens information hotline: 386-345-0345.

1:40 P.M.: After being battered and waterlogged last month by Hurricane Ian, Hurricane Nicole had uneven effects across Volusia County as it swept across the state today.

The storm made landfall early Thursday morning south of Vero Beach and traveled northwest. As of 1 p.m. Thursday, the National Hurricane Center predicted the storm will skirt Florida’s gulf coast and hook northeast on Friday, Nov. 11, heading toward North and South Carolina. 

As of 11 a.m. Thursday, 35,000 Volusia County households were estimated to be without power, a far cry from the nearly 200,000 homes left without power after Hurricane Ian.

While East Volusia residents — from north of Ormond Beach to Edgewater — were rammed by strong waves and heavy winds, West Volusia fared comparatively well. In neighboring Flagler County, a portion of Florida A1A collapsed due to erosion.

In DeLand, where widespread power outages, downed trees and floods affected the city during Ian, outages weren’t widespread, and the city had few reports of flooding Thursday morning.

Communications Manager Chris Graham said there was “very minor localized flooding — nothing like what we saw a few weeks ago, and outages seem sporadic.”

Graham said the DeLand Fire Department recorded a 51-mph gust of wind, and the DeLand Municipal Airport reported a 54-mph gust. The city’s wastewater-treatment plant logged 3.75 inches of rain in DeLand as of this morning.

In neighboring Orange City, the story was similar.

“Orange City fared pretty well thus far,” Public Information Officer Danielle FitzPatrick told The Beacon. “We have some reported lines and trees down, streetlights out and very minimal flooding; not nearly as many issues as we had with Hurricane Ian.”

DeBary, too.

“I am thankful to report that DeBary fared well,” Communications Director Rochelle Greiner said around 11 a.m. Thursday. “At this time our assessment crews have made no reports of flooding or major trees down.”

Even Deltona, still recovering in some areas from the major flooding brought on by Ian, didn’t sustain as much damage this time. 

Mayor Heidi Herzberg said two roads in the city had water over the road: Elkcam Boulevard and Delaware Road. No houses had been flooded that the city knew of, she said, but code-enforcement officers were assessing damage as of around 1:30 p.m. Thursday. 

Heavy rain, downed trees and scattered power outages were reported in Northwest Volusia as well as in Lake Helen.

Satellite imagery of Tropical Storm Nicole from around 1 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10.

Two hundred Volusia County residents took shelter in county-operated shelters. Three of these shelters are still open: 

— Creekside Middle School, 6801 Airport Road in Port Orange (general population)

— Heritage Middle School, 1001 Parnell Court in Deltona (general population and special needs)

— David C. Hinson Middle School, 1860 N. Clyde Morris Blvd. in Daytona Beach (special needs)

All three shelters are open to the general public and will accept pets; the shelters at Heritage and David C. Hinson middle schools are also open to residents with special needs.

Residents are still asked to remain off of the roads for unnecessary driving to accommodate emergency vehicles.

While Volusia County will continue to see tropical-storm-force winds throughout the day, and the area will likely experience scattered remnants of the storm in the coming days, the worst of Nicole’s effects are likely over.

Volusia County will hold a news conference at 2 p.m. with additional information about the storm’s impacts. The conference will be available to watch online on the county’s Facebook page, HERE, and the county’s YouTube channel, HERE.


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