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Florida’s Volusia County puts damage from Nicole at $481 million

Two dozen multistory condo buildings have been evacuated and deemed unsafe by building inspectors.
This aerial drone photo shows erosion and damage in Volusia County 48 hours after Hurricane Nicole made landfall near Vero Beach as a Category 1 storm.
This aerial drone photo shows erosion and damage in Volusia County 48 hours after Hurricane Nicole made landfall near Vero Beach as a Category 1 storm. [ MAX CHESNES | Times ]
Published Nov. 14|Updated Nov. 14

DAYTONA BEACH SHORES — Damages are estimated at more than $481 million in a central Florida coastal county where homes collapsed into the Atlantic Ocean following Hurricane Nicole last week.

The damages from the Category 1 storm in Volusia County, home to Daytona Beach, exceeded those from the much stronger Hurricane Ian, which caused $377 million in damage in the county, officials said. Hurricane Ian, a Category 3 storm, made landfall in southwest Florida in late September and tore across the state.

Moody’s Investors Service estimated insured losses from Ian at between $40 billion and $70 billion in Florida and North Carolina.

Severe beach erosion from Ian made homes vulnerable to the impact of Nicole in Wilbur-by-the-Sea, a quaint beach community where single-family homes fell into the ocean last week. Volusia County officials said that at least 30 single-family homes in Wilbur-by-the-Sea and seven single-family homes in nearby Ponce Inlet have been deemed unsafe following Hurricane Nicole.

In Daytona Beach Shores and New Smyrna Beach, two dozen multistory condo buildings have been evacuated and deemed unsafe by building inspectors.

Daytona Beach Shore had the most property damage by far in the county, estimated at $370.3 million, according to the Volusia County Property Appraiser. It was followed by New Smyrna Beach at $51.1 million and Daytona Beach at $50 million.

The property appraiser’s office warned that those figures would likely rise as more buildings are inspected.

For storm-weary Floridians, Nicole was the first November hurricane to hit their shores since 1985 and only the third since record-keeping began in 1853.

The storm was blamed for five deaths in Florida. A man and a woman were killed by electrocution when they touched downed power lines in the Orlando area. Also in Orange County, one man died in a vehicle crash, and a male pedestrian was struck and killed by a vehicle because of poor road conditions. Another man died as waves battered his yacht against a dock in Cocoa, despite efforts to resuscitate him by paramedics who managed to get on board as the boat broke away from its moorings.

• • •

2022 Tampa Bay Times Hurricane Guide

IT'S STORM SEASON: Get ready and stay informed at tampabay.com/hurricane.

FORECAST: The ‘cone of uncertainty’ can be confusing. Here’s how to read it.

MODELS: How reliable are hurricane models? Hurricane Ian gave us some answers.

EVACUATIONS: Fewer evacuated to shelters during Hurricane Ian. How can Tampa Bay stay safe?

WHAT TO EXPECT IN A SHELTER: What to bring — and not bring — plus information on pets, keeping it civil and more.

WHAT TO DO IF HURRICANE DAMAGES YOUR HOME: Stay calm, then call your insurance company.

PREPARING FOR A HURRICANE: Make a plan, listen to experts, and know there’s help available if you need it.

DOUBLE-CHECK: Checklists for building all kinds of hurricane kits

PHONE IT IN: Use your smartphone to protect your data, documents and photos.

SELF-CARE: Protect your mental health during a hurricane.

• • •

Rising Threat: A special report on flood risk and climate change

PART 1: The Tampa Bay Times partnered with the National Hurricane Center for a revealing look at future storms.

PART 2: Even weak hurricanes can cause huge storm surges. Experts say people don't understand the risk.

PART 3: Tampa Bay has huge flood risk. What should we do about it?

INTERACTIVE MAP: Search your Tampa Bay neighborhood to see the hurricane flood risk.

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