The full extent of the damage left behind by Nicole is still not known because the storm has left some homes and condo buildings teetering on the edge of collapse.
Nicole came ashore as a hurricane Thursday in Florida and quickly moved across the state. At least two people died after being electrocuted.
Powerful waves ate away at vulnerable beaches already damaged by Hurricane Ian, causing some homes to collapse. Officials in one county have declared dozens of structures — homes and condo and hotel buildings — unsafe for occupants.
“The structural damage along our coastline is unprecedented,” Volusia County Manager George Recktenwald said. “We have never experienced anything like this before, so we ask for your patience as we make our assessments. As always, the safety of our residents and visitors is our top priority. This is going to be a long road to recovery.”
County and municipal building inspectors declared at least 24 hotels and condo buildings unsafe and ordered occupants to evacuate, according to WFTV.
Another 25 single-family homes in Wilbur-by-the-Sea were also declared structurally unsafe. Some had already collapsed as waves washed away their backyards. A county official said as many as 40 homes in the county were unsafe. Christian Oehmke has lived in Wilbur-by-the-Sea his entire life. He described seeing a house “hanging by a thread over the dune.”
“We were standing there watching and we started to hear some crack, and the house started to fall into the beach,” he told the New York Times. “It made such a huge sound, a crashing, like a car accident. Insulation and glass started flying up. It was wild.”
“It’s pretty surreal,” he said, adding that storms these days “are a lot more powerful than when I was growing up.” In nearby New Smyrna Beach, Hurricane Ian had already washed away the dunes […]
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