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.
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