Flagler County’s emergency and public health officials are preparing for an unprecedented battle on two fronts, with reconfigured shelters and rules but the same stress on compliance with evacuation orders if and when they’re issued, regardless of Covid-19 fears.
Rising waters from the Intracoastal in Flagler Beach were again a concern with high tide this evening, with reports of flooded streets and yards and water nearing homes.
Flagler County is still paying the millions in bills from Hurricanes Matthew and Irma, and the state is recovering from a direct hit from a Cat 5 last year, costing $26 billion, as the 2019 hurricane season begins.
Michael didn’t affect as large of an area in Florida as Hurricane Matthew, which ran up the East Coast in 2016, or Irma, which traveled the state from the Keys to Jacksonville in 2017.
With Hurricane Florence’s effects causing possible erosion locally, Flagler County officials are on the alert for any breaches along the coast, where the year-long dune-rebuilding project is still ongoing.
Jonathan Lord, Flagler County’s new emergency management chief, has been putting his vast state and local experience to work in preparation for hurricane season.
Expanded from three days last year, the tax holiday has drawn added attention after Florida experienced hurricanes in 2016 and 2017 after a decade’s calm.
Craig Fugate, a former FEMA and Florida Division of Emergency Management chief, highlighted the need for people in Florida to plan year-round for the six-month hurricane season.
Eventual Tropical Storm Nate has the potential to become a hurricane and impact the Florida Panhandle this weekend, and families must be ready, the governor said.
Calculated through Sunday afternoon, Irma’s losses easily exceeded the 119,000 claims and $1.2 billion in losses for Matthew and the 19,700 claims and $139 million in losses from Hermine.