Ride-along: Hurricane Nicole damage assessment in Volusia County

Over half a billion dollars in damage done, officials say

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – Officials with the Florida Division of Emergency Management gave News 6 a look at the coastline in Daytona Beach Shores on Wednesday, nearly a week after Hurricane Nicole.

“What it took was the combination punch of Hurricane Ian that came through. It did a lot of damage, and then when Nicole came through it exacerbated the problems that the beach was already having,” said Jimmy Bujeda, FDEM deputy director and SERT chief.

[TRENDING: WATCH AGAIN: NASA’s mega moon rocket lifts off from Florida coast despite hiccups | ‘He took something so precious:’ Orlando shooting survivor grieves loss of daughter, 3 family members | Become a News 6 Insider]

During a ride-a-long on Thursday, Bujeda explained how multiple seawalls were washed away with infrastructure buried under the sand.

He said replacing the dunes will be the challenging part of the recovery.

“There wasn’t enough time to do anything to mitigate the next storm that came through,” he said.

Several buildings that were evacuated because of erosion danger have now been inspected and cleared by the city, but more than a dozen in Daytona Beach Shores remain on the unsafe list.

Bujeda said coastal engineers and FEMA workers will be working and assessing over the next few days, adding that the road to recovery could take years.

“I feel for the community, honestly, I know there’s been a lot of history here. Now you just see the loss of the history to see the loss of infrastructure for the community,” Bujeda said.

Get today’s headlines in minutes with Your Florida Daily:

About the Author:

Ezzy Castro is a multimedia journalist on News 6's morning team who has a passion for telling the stories of the people in the Central Florida community. Ezzy worked at WFOR CBS4 in South Florida and KBMT in Beaumont, Texas, where she covered Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Being from Miami, Ezzy loves Cuban coffee and croquetas!