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Daytona Beach Shores officials seeing improvement along coast after significant hurricane damage

Posted on September 18, 2023

It’s been nearly a year since Hurricane Ian, quickly followed by Nicole, did so much damage in Volusia County.

Along the coast, the worst of the damage was in Daytona Beach Shores and communities south of it.

“A great, great improvement from where we are,” Daytona Beach Shores Mayor Nancy Miller said.

Miller regularly brings in guest speakers.

This time, the speakers were Sheriff Mike Chitwood and emergency services director Jim Judge.

Judge talked about hurricanes.

Twenty-nine buildings, mostly condos and hotels, were closed in the aftermath of Ian and Nicole as pounding waves crushed seawalls and undermined property.

Twenty-seven have since reopened, which is progress, though at least 10 still have quite a bit of work to do.

“The actual building is able to be inhabited,” Miller said. “It might not have a pool. They definitely don’t have a seawall, but they’re able to be open. We have two that cannot be inhabited.”

The mayor says the majority of damaged property owners have installed or are installing sturdy protective barriers to keep the ocean at bay.

Those that haven’t contracted for seawalls have trap bags, though emergency services director Judge isn’t sure how well they would do in a serious storm or back-to-back storms that were so life-changing here.

“How can you ever plan or prepare for those types of events, you just do the best you can and deal with the aftermath and do everything you can to put it back together,” Judge said.

Officials with the county’s coastal division previously told us they’re making good progress with repairs to beachfront parks, beach approaches and county walkovers.

They say they’ve seen significant natural repair to the beach itself.

It lost several feet of elevation during the storms. Sand washed out to the sea and it’s already washed back quite a bit.

“So much is going on with the beaches,” Judge said.

Though storm scars are still very visible, officials are still encouraged by what has been accomplished.

They’re all holding their breath that they get through this hurricane season without another threat.

All coastal community leaders in Volusia and Flagler counties will be watching the water as Hurricane Lee passes through the Atlantic.

The storm is already sending in big swells that could ultimately lead to more erosion.


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