Daytona Beach Mayor Derrick Henry told “CBS Mornings” that the popular tourist destination city has never sustained the amount of rain and wind it has been getting sincefirst entered Florida on Wednesday.
The city itself is located on the opposite side of Florida, where Ianon Wednesday as a Category 4 storm. But that is not stopping the storm’s outer bands from spreading across the state.
“We’ve never really experienced this length with what’s more to come. So, we are concerned greatly, to say the least,” Henry told “CBS Mornings.”
Henry has lived in Daytona Beach his entire life and as a Floridian, he has experienced his fair share of hurricanes. But he said Tropical Storm Ian is something he has never experienced.
“Each storm is unique. This one, however, the duration and the breadth and width of it is unique, in my lifetime, thus far in terms of anticipation of the amount of rain. Like I say, each storm is unique. This one is quite fearful,” Henry said.
Since the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, Daytona Beach and much of Florida has seen an influx of new residents—some of whom have never experienced a hurricane, much less a tropical storm. The population of newcomers joins the already vulnerable population of senior citizens that live in the state. Henry said this makes preparing for the storm even more important.
“Well, you try to educate as many of the newcomers as you could, and then you try to do things to support the seniors with things like sandbags, relocation. We have a great coordinated system throughout our region to help folks moving into the shelters. So you work and do all that you can in advance, and once the storm is present, you then respond and react as quickly as you can,” Henry said. “We’ve got a great team of first responders who are, you know, prepared to do what they can to rescue and make things as palatable as possible moving forward.”