Volusia beach forecast: rip currents, high tides and ‘unsanctioned’ trucks

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. — Law enforcement and safety leaders say a combination of hot temperatures, high rip currents and a possible unsanctioned truck event will make for a busy Memorial Day weekend.


Even before the weekend officially began Friday, crowds packed onto Flagler Avenue in New Smyrna Beach, soaking in the sun and waves under the watchful eyes of lifeguards.

Lifeguards will be flying red flags all weekend as strong surf swells the size of waves, Interim Director of Beach Safety Tammy Malphurs said.

Last year, her team rescued more than 300 swimmers from the rough seas over the course of the weekend. They’ve already logged more than 400 rescues since March.

“It’s all hands on deck for us this weekend,” she explained. “Everyone’s prepared. Everyone’s ready to work the entire weekend and we’re looking forward to it. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

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Morning high tides will increase the chance a car accidentally goes swimming, and Malphurs reminded vacationers that heat and alcohol don’t mix well – not to mention alcohol is prohibited on the beach -- as she advised them to download the Volusia Beaches app onto their phones before leaving their hotels or homes.

Nearby, New Smyrna Beach Police Chief Eric Feldman was keeping tabs on a truck event scheduled for the speedway that had the possibility of spilling onto the city’s streets.

Volusia County has had a bad recent history with unsanctioned events, culminating in 35 arrests and 600 tows in the Daytona area in 2022.

“Our hope is that due to all the events they’ve set up out at the speedway, that that’s going to be where they generally stay, but if they do come to town, we’re ready for them,” the chief said.

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That will include enforcing traffic and criminal laws. Extra officers will be on hand, he said.

However, the department won’t go as far as it does for July 4 weekend because it expects Memorial Day weekend to be fairly calm.

“Our message is always the same: we do everything we can to keep it safe,” he said.

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