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Officials: No evacuations or shelters in Flagler County

Emergency staff remain prepared

VIDEO: Flagler County and St. Johns County will be giving out sandbags in advance of Hurricane Isaias.
VIDEO: Flagler County and St. Johns County will be giving out sandbags in advance of Hurricane Isaias.

FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. – Flagler County officials decided midday Sunday that the potential limited evacuations and the opening of an emergency shelter are unnecessary given the change of track and intensity of Tropical Storm Isaias, but emergency staff is ready should weather conditions change again.

“We always prepare for the worst, and modify those plans as information updates,” said Emergency Management Director Jonathan Lord. “The forecasted weather has improved, and it doesn’t warrant opening a shelter.”

RELATED: How will Isaias impact Jacksonville area?

Tropical storm warnings have been canceled for inland Flagler County, but they continue for the area. Bands of showers will continue to impact Flagler County through Monday morning, with gusts between 30-40 mph at the coast and 20-30 mph inland.

“There may be localized flooding possible at high tide in the normal very low laying areas, and locations where there is poor drainage,” Lord said. “The tornado threat is low.”

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Three locations in Flagler County were providing sand and bags for residents in that county in advance of the approaching storm. Two pickup locations were beachside and the other was in Palm Coast.

Sand and bags will be available at the following locations.

  • Flagler Technical College – 5633 N. Oceanshore Blvd., The Hammock, open Saturday 9 a.m - 5 p.m.
  • Santa Maria Del Mar Catholic Church – 915 N. Central Ave., Flagler Beach, open Saturday 9 a.m - 5 p.m.
  • Palm Coast Public Works Yard, 1 Wellfield Grade, off U.S. 1 and just north of Palm Coast Parkway, Palm Coast, open Saturday 7 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

A Flagler EOC spokesperson said the county will not be offering sand on Sunday.

“It’s very important because we are living in an area that even a little rain can accumulate a lot of water so it’s nice to be prepared,” said Eni Reyes, a Flagler County resident.

Reyes told News4Jax she’s not taking any chances. Her side garage door and other areas around her home quickly fill with water that’s why she’s picking up sandbags.

“We don’t know the hurricane is something that you cannot prepare sometimes they turn and if you’re not prepared you’re going to suffer,” Reyes said.

Other residents said this is nothing new, but they are taking Isaias seriously.

“I want to be prepared because it can be awful if you’re not prepared,” said Leila Manning, a Flagler County resident.

If Isaias follows the predicted track, impacts on the Northeast Florida area would be minimal with rough surf, a high risk for rip currents and coastal rain.
If Isaias follows the predicted track, impacts on the Northeast Florida area would be minimal with rough surf, a high risk for rip currents and coastal rain.

Living on Flagler Drive, residents said they know when storm is on its way. They’re just hoping one of their biggest barriers holds up against an unpredictable tropical storm.

“If those dunes don’t hold, the Atlantic Ocean will come right back down our street,” Flagler County resident Laura Cohill said.

Flagler County Emergency Management is warning residents of Zones A and B of potential Hurricane Dorian-like flooding. It’s something Laura and Jim Cohill said they’re getting prepared for.

“We put the door down and we line it with plastic, and then we put the sandbags on top of the plastic and duct tape the top of the plastic,” Laura Cohill said.

For more information on the developments in Flagler County regarding protocols and information on the storm, updates can be found on the county website or through its social media channels.

“We are operating out of an abundance of caution, and ask residents to do the same,” Lord said. “We will continue to keep everyone posted about any significant changes via our social media.

Garbage collection canceled

WastePro has canceled garbage collection for Monday.

Do not leave garbage, debris, or yard waste at the curb on Sunday -- it needs to be secured.

Palm Coast declares state of emergency

Mayor Milissa Holland signed a proclamation declaring a local state of emergency for the city of Palm Coast, as Hurricane Isaias poses a threat to Florida.

By issuing the proclamation for the local state of emergency, this allows the city to obtain resources on an emergency basis. It also allows for state and federal resources to quickly flow to the area.

The city of Palm Coast is monitoring the track for Isaias and would like to remind residents about storm readiness and preparations for their family and property.

Citizens can submit concerns such as downed trees, localized flooding or pep tank alarm requests by creating a case. Customer service representatives will reach out to city staff to help resolve issues presented by the storm. Palm Coast Connect can be accessed on desktop and the free app is available in both the Apple and Google Play App Stores. Palm Coast Connect is not a substitute for 911.

Customer Service will staff the call center for residents on Sunday beginning at 11 a.m. and continue answering calls through the night, as normal business hours resume at 8 a.m. Monday. The number to call is 386-986-2360.

As there is the potential for debris, Monday garbage pickups have been canceled for the safety of Waste Pro workers. If your neighborhood is regularly scheduled for a Monday pickup, your next pickup will be Thursday. The rest of the week will operate under a normal pick up schedule.

Stormwater crews are monitoring city water control structures and want to remind residents to keep their swales clear.

For questions on evacuation zones, visit palmcoastconnect.com. In the storm updates section, click the emergency management resources palmcoastconnect.com/s/storm-preparations.

Currently, the city’s emergency management team is watching conditions closely, along with the Flagler County emergency management team.

Gov. Ron DeSantis said Wednesday, July 29, Floridians should prepare now and have at least seven days of disaster supplies. You should also gather important personal documents and have a plan for your family. You can learn more on preparations and plans by viewing the Disaster Preparedness Guide on Palm Coast Connect at palmcoastconnect.com, click on the ‘Storm Updates’ tile.

Residents should bring in material around their homes that could become flying debris. Also, if your garbage collection day is Monday, make sure to place it out on time for collection crews.

Residents can pick up sandbags throughout the weekend at the Public Works Department located at 1 Wellfield Grade, Palm Coast, FL 32137. The sandbags fill station will be unattended, but sandbags will be available at the sand pile. Please bring a shovel to fill the bags.

The Storm Update section on Palm Coast Connect also hosts additional storm readiness information on evacuation zones, emergency management resources, and what residents with PEP Tanks (Pretreatment Effluent Pumping System) need to know. You can also sign up for ALERTPalmCoast here [https://fullsite.palmcoastgov.com/emergency/alert-palm-coast] to receive important emergency notifications. Please also register for a free account on Palm Coast Connect to submit any concerns to the city. During and after a storm, examples of concerns reported to Palm Coast Connect would be downed trees, impassable roads, localized flooding, and pep tank alarms. Palm Coast Connect can be accessed on desktop and the free app is available in both the Apple and Google Play App Stores. Palm Coast Connect is not a substitute for 9-1-1.

In light of COVID-19, Flagler County has announced it and its emergency preparedness partners have taken additional steps to protect residents that may be unable to make alternative arrangements and need to seek public shelter in the event of an evacuation order. Shelters will have separate areas for those who know they have COVID-19, or are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19.

Additionally, all evacuees will be required to wear face coverings and undergo entry and daily temperature screenings. Shelter capacities and movement within the shelter will be more restrictive than in previous years. Stay tuned to Flagler County Emergency Management for information on shelters for the storm season.

Also, with COVID-19 having an impact, the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released information for the public to understand how the pandemic could affect disaster preparedness and what you can do to keep yourself and others safe. You can read more at the CDC’s website [https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/hurricanes/covid-19/prepare-for-hurricane.html] about:

  • preparations for the season,
  • preparations for evacuation,
  • what to do if you’re staying with friends and family,
  • how to stay safe after a storm

About the Authors:

Justin Barney joined News4Jax in February 2019, but he’s been covering sports on the First Coast for more than 20 years.

A Florida girl and North Carolina A&T SU grad who thrives in breaking news.