Hurricane Lee forecast to stay well offshore but the waves, rip currents will pack a punch

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Weather officials are forecasting that Hurricane Lee will stay well offshore for the rest of the week as the storm passes to the east of Florida. However, the waves and rip currents will pack a punch here in Flagler County.

“Marine conditions are expected to deteriorate this week with large breakers developing,” said Emergency Management Director Jonathan Lord, whose team always keeps a keen eye on the tropics. “The surf will build to about 5 or 7 feet Wednesday through at least Saturday. These large breakers could potentially cause some beach and dune erosion and will continue the high risk for rip-current conditions that we are currently seeing.”

Flagler County Emergency Management recommends staying out of the ocean whenever there is a high risk of rip currents. Those who enter the ocean and find themselves caught in a rip current should follow the National Weather Service recommendations, which includes the following:

  • “Relax, rip currents don’t pull you under.
  • “Don’t swim against the current.
  • “You may be able to escape by swimming out of the current in a direction following the shoreline, or toward breaking waves, then at an angle toward the beach.
  • “You may be able to escape by floating or treading water if the current circulates back toward shore.
  • “If you feel you will be unable to reach shore, draw attention to yourself. If you need help, yell and wave for assistance.”

“We recommend staying aware of the weather and the tropics throughout the Hurricane Season as things can rapidly change,” Lord said. “Preparation is the key, and we’re here to help.”

Sign up for the ALERTFlagler notification system at www.FlaglerCounty.gov/AlertFlagler.

By Julie Murphy

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