East Coast Current

Hurricane Nicole Impacts: Damage Assessments are Ongoing

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The six-month Atlantic Hurricane season will end on November 30, 2022. During the 2022 season, the Atlantic was quiet throughout August for the first time in 15 years. But with Hurricane Nicole, hit November 10, 2022, the season also produced only the third hurricane to hit Florida in November since such records started to be collected in 1853. The storm surge event wrecked the east coast of the state from Palm Beach to the borders of Georgia. 

During Hurricane Nicole, the storm surge was so strong that several coastal buildings and single-family homes in Volusia were deemed “unsafe” and/or “uninhabitable”. Many roads were flooded, power lines were down, and many oceanfront properties were at risk for collapse. Weather and disaster-relief experts hope Ian and Nicole will help spur people in the future to look beyond forecast cones that indicate potential storm paths and to be aware of local maps of flood-prone areas.

According to a news release published by the County on November 14, 2022, the Volusia County Property Appraiser’s Office has assessed $522,811,108 in damages resulting from Hurricane Nicole. The damage assessment is ongoing, and this is not the final assessment. The current assessment includes 496 structures across the county. Assessed structures by property type include:

  • Single-family: 229
  • Commercial: 216
  • Condominiums: 30
  • Two-family: 14
  • Government: 3
  • Multi-family: 3
  • Mobile home: 1

Residents and visitors may contact their local building official’s office to determine if a structure is safe. For updates regarding unsafe buildings, visit the closure information tab at www.Volusia.org/PIN or contact the appropriate building official’s office.

The Volusia County Government, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) and coastal cities hosted an open house on December 1, 2022 at the Daytona Beach Shores Community Center. Representatives answered questions and assisted with state and local emergency permitting, especially concerning seawalls, sand sources and walkover repairs. Residents, consulting engineers and contractors were encouraged to attend so city, county and state employees can guide them through the process.

For information on additional coastal questions, contact the following: 

  • Volusia County permit for vehicle access for closed beach driving areas: 386-238-4668 or 386-257-6000, ext. 21319
  • Volusia County temporary permit: Jennifer Winters or Ryan Chabot, 386-238-4668
  • FDEP field permit: Trey Hatch, 904-832-6757
  • FDEP Coastal Construction Control Line permit: Doug Aarons, 850-245-7672 

Coastal structures – such as piers, walkways and anything else, manufactured or by nature – have also been seriously compromised by the compound impacts of Hurricane Ian and Hurricane Nicole. Officials are working tirelessly to examine the coastal structures’ integrity. Even though a structure may exhibit no visual signs of damage, it does not mean there are no foundational or other underlying problems that may lead to a collapse.

The following coastal parks have reopened:

  • Smyrna Dunes Park, 2995 N. Peninsula Ave, New Smyrna Beach (walkway three still closed)
  • Sun Splash Park, 611 S. Atlantic Ave., Daytona Beach (only the south stairs access the beach)
  • Hiles Boulevard Beach Park, 4516 S. Atlantic Ave., New Smyrna Beach
  • Mary McLeod Bethune Beach Park, 6656 S. Atlantic Ave., New Smyrna Beach (west side only)
  • Tom Renick Park, 1565 Ocean Shore Blvd., Ormond-by-the-Sea

All other Volusia County beach parks and access points are closed until further notice. For more information regarding coastal park closures, visit www.Volusia.org/PIN.

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