Volusia officials warn beachgoers to stay out of the water


VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. - The wind is  whipping up the surf along Volusia County beaches where there's a tropical storm warning and officials have closed the beaches to cars through the weekend.

Even with gray skies and high winds, conditions that don't make for good beach weather, some beachgoers were making the best of it.

"I'm from the South Carolina coast, so the beach is the beach, no matter what kind of weather. I love being here," said beachgoer Linda Bondurant.

But the dangerous, churning water has Beach Patrol officers warning beachgoers to take care.

"It's like a washing machine out there. Even if you go into about waist deep water, it can knock you down into the ground, very dangerous," said Capt. Tammy Marris of Volusia Beach Patrol.

Beach Patrol Officers warned tourists and locals to stay out of the water. They say there are dangerous rip currents and water rushing to the sea walls during high tide.

"You come out to the beach and the water is rushing right up over your feet and even from the edge of the beach. It's crazy," said tourist Brian Paulhamus.

"You can come down to the beach and look at it, but just stay out of the water. We will have our normal staff on the beach watching the water," said a Beach Patrol officer.

Beach Patrol has removed signs and lifeguard towers from the beach because of the higher-than-normal tide expected.

Meanwhile, further inland in Daytona Beach the winds brought down a large oak tree on an SUV.

No one was in the vehicle when the tree came crashing down.

The tree took down a power pole at the same time.