Volusia brings in sand to help beaches, coastal residents after damage caused by Hurricane Nicole

Sand held in massive ‘TrapBags’ to protect it from further erosion

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – Six months after Hurricane Nicole hit Volusia County, much of the beach is still a mess with seawalls destroyed and dunes heavily eroded.

Now, just one month away from this next hurricane season, the county is working quickly to protect the dunes but needs property owners to get on board.

Right now, the county is using TrapBags, or massive sandbags, as a short-term solution.

“It gives our residents and our property owners enough time to try and recover,” said coastal director Jessica Fentress. “Instead of just dumping sand on the beach and then possibly losing all of that sand in just two or three high tides, what we’re doing is placing the sand into TrapBags.”

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Fentress said they are using $5 million from the state to fill the bags with sand that was stored in Edgewater.

“We’ve installed over 6,000 linear feet of TrapBags so far and removed approximately 5,000 cubic yards of debris,” she said.

The bags can stay in place through March 2025 or until the property owner can make a permanent fix. All the owner has to do to get help is sign an easement to let the county access the property.

So far, Fentress said they’ve received 313 easements.

“We will place TrapBags until the sand runs out,” she said.

The county got another $37 million from the state, too. If there’s any sand left in Edgewater, that money will help with TrapBags but then will go towards a bigger project.

“We are working with the Army Corps of Engineers to capitalize on approximately 700,000 cubic yards of additional sand from the upcoming inlet and ICW dredge projects,” she said.

Another chance for residents to get help.

“That’s for anybody who wants to give the county an easement. We are going to prioritize the damaged, critical areas first,” she said.

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Molly joined News 6 at the start of 2021, returning home to Central Florida.