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Residents waiting for Hurricane Dorian at Vero Beach

Posted at 2:51 PM, Sep 02, 2019

VERO BEACH, Fla. (WPTV) — The beaches in Indian River County have been closed for days and officials are only expecting it to get worse.

However, the closures didn't stop people from visiting Vero Beach, watching the water come in and waiting on the big storm. All while businesses in the area continue to shutter up. Many people plan to stay put despite mandatory evacuations. But people say the preparation and the waiting game are exhausting.

"I'm just physically and mentally exhausted," said Lacey Dalh. "Just ready for it to be over with. Watching the news, just watching what the weather is going to do. Watching if it's going to change, where it's going to change. It's got me worried.

Early Monday afternoon, police drove through Sexton Plaza alerting people to leave and evacuate, but most ignored the warning and continued to hang around. People even went out into the water despite high waves and rough water coming in.

Vero Beach Mayor Val Zudans said they have to plan for the worst.

"We don't know for sure exactly which direction this is going," he said. "We have to plan for the worst. Don't just assume it's going to be like Irma and Matthew, where it basically missed us. People who were here in '04 and '05 know what a real storm is. And if you're not sure, you're new to the area, talk to some people who have been around for a while."

Zudans wanted to remind people that if they're on the beach during the storm and call 911, emergency responders may not be able to get to them – if the winds are too high, the conditions are too dangerous.

Officials are also warning that once the winds hit above 40-45 miles per hour, they will be closing the bridges.