Smooth waters for Brevard, rough waters for Volusia as TS Arthur moves along coast

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CENTRAL FLORIDA —

As Tropical Storm Arthur makes it way up the Atlantic coast, beachgoers in Volusia and Brevard counties are seeing the impact with rain and strong rip currents.

Channel 9's Blaine Tolison said the storm made water conditions extremely dangerous in Volusia County on Wednesday due to the heavy wind.

Those heading to the beach early for the Fourth of July holiday weekend should exercise caution in the water and keep an eye on the warnings.

On Wednesday, there were five rescues but no major incidents, Tolison said. There are more than 50 lifeguards on the beach from Ormond to New Smyrna, and they spent time warning those who ventured out too far.

"We got knocked around and pushed back and pushed under," said one swimmer. "You could feel there was a strong undertow."

Volusia County officials warned the heavy surf is going to create channels in the sandbars underwater, which will create a rip current.

In Brevard County, the water was much smoother the further north Arthur got, but there were still dangerous rip currents, officials said.

Lifeguards had red flags up as the Cocoa Beach Pier was packed with visitors and surfers.

"It's not as rough as what it looks. But if you are not used to being in the ocean, it's pretty dangerous," said surfer Randy Howell.

"If you get taken under by a wave, it just rolls you around. You have no idea where you are afterwards," said surfer Andrew Tomak.

Emergency management officials said beach erosion will not be a major concern during the storm, but rip currents will remain strong.