Volusia County braces for more storms after back-to-back hurricanes in 2022

Several parks, walkovers, vehicle access ramps remain closed months later

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla, – Parts of Volusia County left in vulnerable positions after back-to-back hurricanes last year are bracing for the possibility of more storms this season.

Deborah Taylor showed News 6 the progress at St. Kitt’s Condominiums after the dunes washed away and left her building at risk of collapse.

“I tear up sometimes when I think that all that separated mother nature and my forever home was very little,” Taylor said. “It’s been difficult, let me just tell you. I don’t think anyone in Daytona Beach Shores or even the state of Florida realized the magnitude of what two back-to-back hurricanes did to this particular area.”

News 6 drove down the beach where there is more damage than development. In Wilbur-by-the-Sea homes that did collapse look like no time has passed seven months later.

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Volusia County is reminding residents to submit easements if they have not had an opportunity to install any temporary erosion control measures. So far, the county has received 331 easement agreements.

TrapBags filled with sand have been placed in front of some properties as a form of temporary protection. The county said more than 12,600 linear feet of bags have been installed. Work continues to remove debris as well, over 6,500 cubic yards so far have been hauled out.

“People are doing what they have to do to protect their homes,” Taylor said.

Taylor said recovery has been a challenge in a community that lost so much last fall. Her building is installing a sea wall, which has been costly and time-consuming. She’s glad to see the work being done now after countless phone calls, letters and meetings to get a plan and permit in place.

“The challenge was you can’t build after May 1 because of turtles. You can’t build during hurricane season, but you can see they’re doing great work right now,” Taylor said.

Stabling poles have been put in place behind her building, where sand has also been brought in to build up what washed away. In November, only a few feet separated the condominiums from possible collapse.

“I think it will take years,” Taylor said. “I think it will take four to five years for Daytona Beach Shores to look like it did at one particular time.

Volusia County did share some information that indicates what has been done since Nicole, and what work still needs to be done:

Damage after Nicole:

  • 36 of 141 walkovers were open
  • 2 out of 17 coastal parks were open
  • 4 of 37 vehicle access ramps were open
  • Total damage: $30.6 million

Where we are today:

  • 96 of 141 walkovers are open
  • 14 of 17 coastal parks are open — Frank Rendon, Edwin W. Peck Sr. and Dahlia Park are closed
  • 20 of 37 vehicle access ramps are open to the public

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About the Author:

Catherine, born and raised in Central Florida, joined News 6 in April 2022.