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Drone footage shows Hurricane Nicole’s erosion on Florida east coast

Scenes of destruction span Florida’s central Atlantic Coast after the Category 1 storm
Forty-eight hours after Hurricane Nicole made landfall near Vero Beach as a Category 1 storm, residents of Daytona Beach Shores began to assess the damage wrought by intense coastal erosion. Beach boardwalks and coastal infrastructure were washed away by hours of surging seas. From the air, scenes of strewn debris, damaged hotels and homes now at-risk from erosion begin to come to light. Volusia County faced the northern portion of the storm, which brought the strongest gusts and turbulent seas.
Forty-eight hours after Hurricane Nicole made landfall near Vero Beach as a Category 1 storm, residents of Daytona Beach Shores began to assess the damage wrought by intense coastal erosion. Beach boardwalks and coastal infrastructure were washed away by hours of surging seas. From the air, scenes of strewn debris, damaged hotels and homes now at-risk from erosion begin to come to light. Volusia County faced the northern portion of the storm, which brought the strongest gusts and turbulent seas. [ MAX CHESNES | Times ]
Published Nov. 14

DAYTONA BEACH SHORES — From above, the damage stretches for miles: Homes falling into the sea. Cliffs of sand sculpted by surging water. Debris scattered up and down the shoreline.

Just 48 hours after Hurricane Nicole made landfall, Volusia County residents were assessing the damage early Saturday morning. Through the lens of a drone, many were seen sorting rubble into piles while others, mainly curious onlookers, sat and analyzed the battered landscape.

The center of the Category 1 storm may have landed more than 100 miles south, but here in Daytona Beach Shores, hours of pounding waves transformed much the immediate coast. An early estimate of damage is north of $481 million in Volusia County alone. Daytona Beach Shores had the most property damage, estimated at $370.3 million, the Volusia County Property Appraiser said. That’s followed by New Smyrna Beach’s estimated $51.1 million in damages, and Daytona Beach at $50 million.

Below: A compilation of drone footage showing Hurricane Nicole’s destructive coastal erosion on Florida’s Atlantic coast

At least two dozen multistory condo buildings in Daytona Beach Shores and New Smyrna Beach were evacuated by building inspectors who deemed them unsafe, the Associated Press reported.

Statewide, the overall estimated damage pales in comparison to Hurricane Ian’s September landfall in Southwest Florida, which as of Wednesday includes $8.7 billion in estimated insured losses, the AP reported. But from the sky in Volusia County, the hundreds of millions of dollars in losses from Nicole are widespread, spanning coastal communities like Wilbur-by-the-Sea and Ormond Beach.

“The numbers are astounding,” county officials wrote when they announced the initial damages from Nicole, which they said surpassed Hurricane Ian’s toll of $377 million in local losses. “The numbers will rise as property assessment teams visit additional buildings over the coming days.”

Below: Drone photographs of Hurricane Nicole’s coastal erosion in Volusia County.

A boardwalk at a southern Volusia County condominium crumbles into the sea.
A boardwalk at a southern Volusia County condominium crumbles into the sea. [ MAX CHESNES | Times ]
While some homes are considered total losses after Hurricane Nicole's erosion, others were barely spared.
While some homes are considered total losses after Hurricane Nicole's erosion, others were barely spared. [ MAX CHESNES | Times ]
A row of homes in Volusia County barely survived Hurricane Nicole's coastal erosion. High seas created by the Category 1 storm, which made landfall in Vero Beach Thursday morning, battered this area for hours.
A row of homes in Volusia County barely survived Hurricane Nicole's coastal erosion. High seas created by the Category 1 storm, which made landfall in Vero Beach Thursday morning, battered this area for hours. [ MAX CHESNES | Times ]
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A chunk of a public boardwalk in Daytona Beach is missing after hours of surging seas from Hurricane Nicole.
A chunk of a public boardwalk in Daytona Beach is missing after hours of surging seas from Hurricane Nicole. [ MAX CHESNES | Times ]
A home in Daytona Beach Shores barely survived Hurricane Nicole's coastal erosion.
A home in Daytona Beach Shores barely survived Hurricane Nicole's coastal erosion. [ MAX CHESNES | Times ]
A group works to clear debris from the pool deck of a Volusia County condominium.
A group works to clear debris from the pool deck of a Volusia County condominium. [ MAX CHESNES | Times ]
A Volusia County lifeguard stand is now surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean just 48 hours after Hurricane Nicole made landfall.
A Volusia County lifeguard stand is now surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean just 48 hours after Hurricane Nicole made landfall. [ MAX CHESNES | Times ]
A swimming pool is surrounded by debris just two days after Hurricane Nicole made landfall on the east coast of Florida. Volusia County faced the brunt of the storm's coastal erosion.
A swimming pool is surrounded by debris just two days after Hurricane Nicole made landfall on the east coast of Florida. Volusia County faced the brunt of the storm's coastal erosion. [ MAX CHESNES | Times ]
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