Last Updated: Sunday, 4:45 p.m.
Flagler County and its cities weathered Hurricane Ian better than feared: there’s been damage, but it’s not been widespread. There’s been flooding, with 13 to 19 inches of rain, but it has halted for the most part at residents’ doorstep. There have been no reported storm-related fatalities. Power outages remain widespread, however, and in Flagler Beach, some localized damage has been severe.
The following is a roundup of the latest conditions, status of closures and openings, where to seek help, and so on, with a quick-hit list:
As of 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Flagler County was down to 3,470 customers without power, out of 66,934 Florida Power and Light customers in Flagler County.
Duke Power and Clay Electric Coop have a handful of customers as well, but that number is in the low dozens, and all had power.
Across Florida, 1.54 million customers remained without power Friday evening, out of 11.12 million customers.
Chief Judge James R. Clayton has announced the resumption of court operations in Flagler, Putnam, and St. Johns counties beginning tomorrow, Monday, October 3. Court operations in Volusia County will resume on Thursday, October 6.
The evacuation orders for zones A, B, C, and F have been lifted, as well as the countywide curfew. Additionally, due to the low call volume to the Emergency Operations Center–a reflection of the low impacts of Hurricane Ian locally–the call center will close at 7 p.m. Friday.
Public Works teams and damage assessment crews continue to assess conditions, and debris removal crews have been mobilized. FPL crews are handling downed electric lines and are working to restore power.
“Our primary goal remains life safety,” said Emergency Management Director Jonathan Lord. “We are working diligently to get everything back to normal as quickly as possible. In general, government services will return to normal on Monday.”
The Flagler Pier will remain closed due to serious structural damage.
While Flagler County received less rain than forecast, it was still more than 10 inches in areas and potentially upwards of a foot. Volusia County near Flagler County received close to 20 inches – problematic for the county as the St. Johns River flows north, which could bring more water here. This will affect Haw Creek, Dead Lake, and Crescent Lake.
High tide for the Intracoastal Waterway is between 3 and 5 p.m. and is expected to be 2 to 4 feet above normal. Flagler Beach residents were, in fact, reporting a higher Intracoastal tide this afternoon than the previous tide.
High tide for the Atlantic Coast is between noon and 1 p.m. and 2 to 4 feet above normal with dangerous surf conditions and further potential to damage what remains of the dunes, which isn;t much.
“Don’t let down your guard just because the worst of the storm is past,” said Emergency Management Director Jonathan Lord. “There are a number of hazards to be cautious about for the safety of you and your family.”
Top safety concerns:
- Stay away from floodwaters as there can be sewage and other toxins – and wildlife (snakes, alligators)
- Use extreme caution as powerlines are re-energized – treat every downed powerline as live until FPL confirms otherwise
- Generators should be used carefully
- Ventilation is critical to reduce the risk of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning – keep them outdoors away from windows
- Ground generators by properly following the instructions
- Keep generators dry to avoid short circuits
o Don’t back feed power (plugging the generator into a wall outlet)
o Do not keep fuel near the generator while the generator is in use
o Never refuel the generator while it is running
As always, use power tools and chainsaws with appropriate protective gear.
Officials stress that weather impacts will continue to effect Flagler County for another day – particularly during periods of high tides – and to follow safety guidelines. Additionally, continue to conserve water as wastewater systems are taxed from heavy rainfall and flooding.
Flagler Volunteer Services, a private, non-profit 501C3 agency operating in Flagler County, is urging residents whose property was damaged by Tropical Storm Ian to call and register with Crisis Cleanup.
Crisis Cleanup is a coordination website recommended and utilized by Flagler Volunteer Services specifically designed to connect disaster survivors with volunteers who can help.
“Most disaster relief and response organizations from around the country use Crisis Cleanup to step in at a very local level in the wake of a large-scale event,” said Executive Director of Flagler Volunteer Services Suzy Gamblain. “We will be working with both local and national groups.”
In the case of tropical storm Ian that help might take the form of hauling debris to the curb, removing mud or damaged drywall from a home, or tarping a roof. Not all damages are within scope, but for recovery activities that generally don’t require specialized skills, Crisis Cleanup can identify a willing volunteer pool.
“All residents who have sustained any property damage should call the Ian Hotline 800-451-1954,” said Judy Mazzella, Project Director at Flagler Volunteer Services. “Crisis Cleanup will take your information, make a damage report, and once you register you don’t have to call a second time.”
More information on Crisis Cleanup can be found at https://www.crisiscleanup.org/
Following a damage assessment at all our school sites, Flagler Schools Superintendent Cathy Mittlestadt announces that classes for all students will resume at their regular time Monday, October 3rd.
“We know many families are still dealing with the effects of Tropical Storm Ian,” said Mittelstadt. “We also have several of our employees who live in neighboring counties still trying to recover These are all things we take into account when we decide to reopen our schools.”
Our Transportation Department has surveyed bus stops in areas across Flagler County where there are still flooding concerns. In neighborhoods where alternate bus stops are necessary, that information has been relayed to the families.
Mittelstadt says, “There are not enough words to describe the job our district leadership, in coordination with our Custodial, Food and Nutrition, Plant Services, and Technology Departments, did in providing dozens of our neighbors a safe place to stay during the storm. The speed at which they set up two shelters and then transformed them back for our educational use was amazing.”
In Palm Coast:
The City of Palm Coast is currently in the recovery phase following Hurricane Ian. City staff is conducting damage assessment city-wide to identify any potential safety hazards. The City of Palm Coast facilities, parks, and trails remain closed at this time out of an abundance of caution. Many areas throughout our community have downed trees, significant saturation, and remain without power.
“While we were fortunate to have minimal damage in comparison to other parts of the state, Hurricane Ian has brought substantial damage, as well as flooding to certain areas of our city,” said City Manager Denise Bevan. “With this in mind, our public works, stormwater & engineering, fire department and utility departments have been collaborating their efforts with an ‘all hands on deck’ approach to assure we get the appropriate resources to the areas most in need of assistance as we begin our recovery efforts. Thank you to the community for your patience as we work to ensure everyone stays safe.”
Palm Coast City Hall and the Utility Office at 2 Utility Drive will be open for regular business on Monday, October 3, 2022. Please stay connected to all communications channels for an update on other facilities and parks re-openings. Several other city facilities remain without power as of today.
The Palm Coast City Council is meeting as scheduled at 6 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall. Fire Chief Kyle Berryhill will provide City Council with an update on Hurricane Ian and its effects caused by the storm community-wide.
St. Johns County has opened the Solomon Calhoun Community Center, 1300 Duval St., as a post-impact shelter for those who are unable to return to their homes. All other shelters are now closed. For updates on Hurricane Ian recovery efforts in St. Johns County, please visit www.sjcfl.us/hurricane or call the St. Johns County Emergency Management Citizen Information Line at 904.824.5550.
Stetson University’s DeLand campus will return to normal operations on Monday, Oct. 3. This will be the final Hurricane Ian update from the Emergency Management Team and Policy Team, issued Sunday afternoon.
Campus Conditions / Reopening
Duke Energy hopes to completely restore power to the DeLand campus today. Already this morning, electrical service has returned to House F, the Hillel House, the Cross-Cultural Center and other buildings on Bert Fish Drive. Power also has been restored to the Plymouth Apartments.
Campus to Resume Normal Operations Monday
Employees who are able should plan to return to work on Monday.
We understand employees may face challenges returning to work due to issues with storm damage at home, loss of power, providing childcare during school closures, and other issues associated with Ian. If you are experiencing a challenge, please communicate with your supervisor to arrange an accommodation. Each situation is case specific, but we are using flexibility as our guiding principle. If you need further assistance, you may contact Chela Dufour at [email protected] or a general HR team member at 386-822-8710 or via email at [email protected].
Classes This Week
Undergraduate classes and Counselor Education graduate classes will largely be moved online for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, given the upcoming Fall Break (with no classes Thursday and Friday) and issues related to Hurricane Ian.
Provost Noel Painter, PhD, announced the extension of some academic deadlines on Sunday, such as for students to drop a course without academic penalty. A decision will be made by the end of this week on scheduling make-up storm days at the end of the semester.
- Dining Serviceshas resumed normal hours in the Lynn Dining Commons. The Coffee Shop will close at 8 tonight. Hatter StrEats and Einstein Bros. Bagels are closed today. All locations hope to resume normal hours Monday.
- The Hollis Center is open today from 1-5 p.m. and will resume regular hours on Monday. The pool is closed through Wednesday.
- The duPont-Ball Libraryreopened today.
Resources available for the Stetson Community
For people impacted by Hurricane Ian, counseling is available:
- Student Counseling Services provides confidential counseling services to Stetson students. In-person and virtual service options are available. Call 386-822-8900 for an appointment or more information. For after-hours support, please contact the Volusia County Crisis Response Team any time from any location at 386-822-8740. (For thoughts of harming yourself or others, press 1; for other mental health needs, press 7.)
- Stetson offers independent, confidential counseling services for all Stetson employees and their dependents through Cigna. Services are available at no cost. Information about how to access the Cigna Employee Assistance Program (EAP) can be found in this flyer or call (877) 622- 4327.
Castillo de San Marcos
Castillo de San Marcos reopens to the public at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday, October 2. Castillo de San Marcos 350th Anniversary Events will take place on Sunday as scheduled. Fort Matanzas National Monument remains CLOSED. Fort Matanzas is located 14 miles south of the St. Augustine historic area.