Flagler County estimates more than $20 million in damages from Nicole; no homes destroyed

Around 166,800 cubic yards of debris remained after Nicole, officials said

FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. – Flagler County announced Friday that it finished its initial assessment for Hurricane Nicole’s impacts, which caused approximately $23.7 million in damages.

Nicole hit Florida’s east coast early Thursday morning as a Category 1 hurricane, causing widespread flooding and damages along the coastline.

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Since then, county officials worked with the property appraiser’s office to determine the preliminary estimates for the damage caused by the storm.

“There are six teams with boots on the ground — a property appraiser paired with a building official — with tablets, taking pictures and inputting data,” Property Appraiser Jay Gardner said. “We do this assessment as quickly as possible to help our residents get as much FEMA assistance as possible.”

FEMA’s guidelines specify that damages are classified in one of five ways: no damage, affected, minor, major and destroyed. For inaccessible areas, teams return later to assess the damage.

“We assess the barrier island this morning because that’s where Flagler County saw the majority of the damages,” Gardner said. “We can update numbers later, but we try to get the bulk of the information collected today.”

County officials said that of the $23.7 million estimated in the initial damages assessments:

  • $13.3 million was recorded in Flagler Beach
  • $1.2 million was recorded in Beverly Beach
  • $9.2 million was recorded in unincorporated Flagler County

Despite the high cost of damages, no homes in Flagler County were destroyed, Flagler officials said.

They said 299 homes were affected, 125 sustained minor damage, 20 suffered major damage, and 218 homes were flooded. These numbers are likely to change as further assessments are conducted, however.

According to Emergency Management Director Jonathan Lord, Florida A1A saw the bulk of the damage from Nicole, with parts of the road collapses and falling onto the beachside below.

Sandy Grafton, who lives off A1A, said she watched the storm from her home.

“I was very concerned because we could see the 25-foot waves,” Grafton said. “We could see them on that horizon. Every once in a while, you could see how high they were.”

In addition, officials said that there was an estimated 166,800 cubic yards of structural debris countywide, with 49,900 cubic yards of vegetative debris.

FEMA may follow up within the next few days to perform its own damage assessments and ensure whether the county’s figures are accurate.

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Anthony, a graduate of the University of Florida, joined ClickOrlando.com in April 2022.