Volusia to decide on Dorian evacuations Friday

Volusia County entered a local state or emergency Thursday and activated their Emergency Operation Center in anticipation of Hurricane Dorian.

"It is a significant, deadly, dangerous hurricane," said Volusia Emergency Management Director Jim Judge. "There's still uncertainty as to exactly the track and where this storm is going to make landfall, so everyone in Florida is on the hook."

Due to that uncertainty in the path, county leaders began putting their hurricane plan into effect Thursday but stopped short of ordering evacuations. 

"Our goal is by tomorrow [Friday] at lunchtime we should have enough weather information to make that call," said Volusia County Manager George Recktenwald.

The one exception so-far is Daytona Beach Shores who announced a voluntary evacuation via social media Thursday evening. 

The county did announce that beach driving access and beach-side parks would close starting Friday night. County offices will also close Monday and Tuesday.

However, Volusia County crews will be out in full force to clear debris and make space for emergency vehicles if the hurricane does have significant effects.

Sheriff Mike Chitwood said the county also now has several armored and high water vehicles to assist if people end up in emergency situations during the storm. He did advise those staying behind to keep things on the right side of the law.

"If you insist on committing a crime, especially a burglary, that penalty is enhanced under a state of emergency," said Chitwood.

The Sheriff's Office has also begun monitoring wind speeds and will close bridge access to the beach-side islands once things reach an unsafe level. West-bound lanes will remain open for those needing to get back to the main-land in an emergency.