VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – Initial assessments after Hurricane Nicole show the storm caused more than half a billion dollars in damage in Volusia County.
More than $363 million dollars in damage comes from Daytona Beach Shores, according to the property appraiser. In the city, 93 structures suffered some sort of damage from the storm, including more than 20 high-rise hotels and condos that were evacuated due to structural safety concerns.
[TRENDING: Florida flight diverted after man accused of threatening passengers with box cutter | Father calls for answers after 18-year-old daughter found fatally shot in Sanford | Become a News 6 Insider]
Over the weekend, the city of Daytona Beach Shores deemed eight of those buildings safe, after an engineer assessment.
Those buildings include Castaways Beach Resort, Towers Grande, Twin Towers North, Twin Towers South, Sunglow Resort, Dimucci Tower, and Curran Shores South.
“Those residents can come back into their properties and be able to inhabit them again,” Mayor Nancy Miller said.
Miller spoke about the progress so far in the coastal community while talking to News 6 Monday.
“Each one of these properties had to contact a structural engineer, hire them,” Miller said. “When they came out and deemed it was safe, we had a process in place that they report to their chief building inspector. He went over all the paperwork.”
Emergency sand is now being brought in to protect some properties from the tide.
“Right now, we have representatives here that are able to work with you if you bring your plans in, the structural engineers, it’s going to be a temporary restoration case-by-case for condos or buildings,” Miller said.
Beach erosion was a problem in Daytona Beach Shores before Hurricane Nicole hit. The storm washed away what little was left after Hurricane Ian.
“The county, state and federal — it’s going to take all of us working together to come up with a solution that’s going to work long-term where we don’t have to go through this every storm,” Miller said.
Carolyn Simon owns a home on Atlantic Avenue in Daytona Beach Shores. Her beach walkover was destroyed, and there was little room left between the remaining dune and her back porch.
“Nothing like this has ever happened,” Simon said. “When Matthew was out there, we had like a 10-foot cliff in the dunes, but it came back.”
Simon said her next-door neighbor built a temporary sea wall after Hurricane Ian hit in late September. Nicole washed it away.
“The day after Ian, they got their contractor out here, and they put in all the sand and all those things,” Simon said. “Now, you can see the sea wall is gone.”
Simon has lived in her home since the early 1990s. She is hopeful the city will get help that is needed and rebuild.
“This is our economy sitting here on the beach. World famous beach. Can’t get to it now,” Simon said.
Get today’s headlines in minutes with Your Florida Daily: