A building on Daytona Beach recently collapsed due to Hurricane Nicole’s forceful impact. In recent video footage, viewers can watch as gusty winds and rough surf appear to have caused the structure to fall in as the storm made landfall. However, the building was one of many that literally fell victim to the ferocity of Hurricane Nicole.
According to Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood, dozens of buildings on the Daytona Beach coastline suffered severe structural damage, leading to mandatory evacuations.
“With this storm surge coming in here, and the high winds, we are fearful that several of those buildings will collapse,” Chitwood said on Wednesday before Hurricane Nicole made landfall. “We cannot have people out and about if that were to happen.”
Nicole pummeled into the Sunshine State Thursday morning just south of Vero Beach as a Category 1 hurricane, then quickly decreased to a tropical storm.
Despite weakening into a tropical storm, Florida residents will feel the damage from Hurricane Nicole for months as they try to rebuild.
In just one of many anecdotal stories about Hurricane Nicole’s destruction, Trip Valigorsky lost his beachfront home. The home had been in his family for nearly 15 years. In just a matter of hours, it crumbled into the ocean.
“This home was my grandma’s favorite place,” Valigorsky told reporters. “Some of the best memories with her were here.” Valigorksy is just one of many residents whose homes were damaged or destroyed by the storm.
In Volusia County alone, at least 49 beachfront properties, including hotels and condos, have been officially deemed “unsafe.”
Hurricane Nicole leaves coastal communities devastated, residents begin to rebuild
Video shows homes crumbling, turning them into wreckage, as the storm’s waves erode the coastline. Other footage even shows the county’s beach safety office collapsing into the rising water.
According to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the sea level in this part of Florida has risen more than a foot in the last century. In addition, most of the rise has occurred in the past three decades.
Scientists have long warned that sea level rise is causing more erosion and high-tide flooding.
As a result, sea walls, which protect coastal towns from swells and water levels, are overburdened. In addition, some were even destroyed this week by the storm surge. For instance, one seawall that officials put up on Tuesday, deteriorated into the ocean as of Wednesday.
“It was stressful wondering if it would fall, and here we are,” Valigorsky said later of the sea wall.
On Wednesday, Valigorsky packed up his essential belongings and his dog and evacuated the area. When he returned, all that was left of his home was the garage and the front foyer.
As the town begins to rebuild, Valigorsky said he plans to reconstruct his home alongside his neighbors who also lost theirs.