WILBUR-BY-THE-SEA, Fla. – Seven beachside homes in Wilbur-by-the-Sea collapsed into the Atlantic Ocean on Thursday after Nicole struck Florida as a hurricane and ripped across the state, devouring a large chunk of the coastline along Central Florida beaches.
A house located at 4101 S. Atlantic Ave. fell into the ocean Thursday morning and six other homes -- or at least a part of them -- also tumbled into the sea. No injuries were reported.
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A man who lives in the area said he witnessed a house tumble into the ocean.
“We were just standing on beach and a big section of the wall fell over, hit the support beam and it fell in the water. It was pretty frightening,” he said. “We were just checking on our neighbors. It almost doesn’t seem real to see all this, even though you know it’s a possibility living here.”
Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said more homes will also be destroyed by beach erosion.
“Just total devastation. And we’re not done yet,” Chitwood said. “We knew earlier in the week that at least 22 of these homes were declared structurally unsafe. It was a matter of what this high tide would do (Thursday) morning and, as you see what it has done, this is going to continue.”
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Several Wilbur-by-the-Sea homes were left on the edge of the beach after 20 feet of sand was washed away by rough surf and surge caused by Nicole.
“All of these homes here, all of the properties and (at Daytona Beach) Shores that we evacuated (Wednesday) and were evacuated after Hurricane Ian, the worst is ahead of us, not behind us,” Chitwood said.
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A property manager told News 6 Wednesday that several homes had to be evacuated.
“We evacuated this owner (Wednesday) morning. He’s headed out of state. He didn’t want to see it (collapse), obviously,” the property manager said. “We manage the two properties next door, (so) we’ve also evacuated them. Those backyards are also mostly collapsed.”
Later, the property manager said the doors to one of the houses were no longer closing, likely meaning the house was shifting.
A Beach Safety Office building also collapsed onto the beach Wednesday in Daytona Beach Shores.
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