MELBOURNE, BEACH, Fla. – Amanda Massachessi is worrying more than ever after a hurricane.
Her family shared video from their Shell Street beach house five years ago after Hurricane Irma, where storm surge washed sand away up to their deck.
Now, Massachessi says the erosion is even worse because their deck collapsed.
“I just don’t know what’s going to happen with the beaches. That really worries me,” she said.
Massachessi’s brother Franco sat on that deck during an interview in 2017 and predicted the family hadn’t seen their last erosion scare.
Then, he said an upcoming multi-million dollar project to rebuild the dunes would be a waste of money if the next hurricane would take the same sand back to the ocean.
Brevard County is already pursuing a new $8.5 million renourishment project after Hurricane Ian just six weeks ago, but now beach program manager Mike McGarry says that expense could double.
“Nicole was much, much harder on the beaches,” McGarry said.
Ian chipped away at dunes, but Nicole is also being blamed for a half-dozen properties deemed unsafe like the Melbourne Beach resort.
The county said since 2004, more than $50 million spent on renourishment projects has protected buildings.
McGarry said the degree of Nicole’s damages may spark a new conversation about how close to the beach developers should be allowed to build.
McGarry said current coastal ordinances are reasonably good.
“It’s a political discussion if they want to tighten them up, but in many instances, the structures most at peril were built long ago before the current regulations were in place,” he said.
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