'We are at a critical point right now': Florida beaches at risk ahead of Subtropical Storm Nicole
VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. - More than a month after Hurricane Ian – and before several have had a chance to fully recover from the flooding and damage – Volusia County is now preparing for Subtropical Storm Nicole, which is expected to made landfall over Florida mid-week.
Officials are particularly worried about potential erosion to the county's beaches, an area that is still recovering.
"With this heavy surf, we’re going to have strong long shore currents from this tide and strong east wind blowing onshore," said Captain AJ Miller of the Volusia County Beach Patrol. "It’s just not the best place to come down and be."
Parts of the coastline remains compromised after Hurricane Ian damaged dunes and sea walls, leaving many structures and residents vulnerable.
TRACKING THE TROPICS
- Sandbags: Where to get sandbags in Central Florida
- Orlando Hurricane Center: Latest tropical forecasts, spaghetti models, maps, and NHC forecast cone
- Continuing coverage: Latest stories and forecasts on Subtropical Storm Nicole
- FOX 35 Storm Team Center: Daily weather forecast, hour-by-hour forecast
Volusia County Coastal Division Director Jessica Fentress did not mince words during a news conference on Monday: "I’m going to be very honest with everybody out there, we are at a critical point right now with the state of our beaches."
She said up to two dozen structures along the coastline were damaged and vulnerable after Hurricane Ian, a number that could rise after the tropical storm's impact this week. The subtropical storm is expected to bring coastal flooding, significant rainfall, and tropical-force winds to the county.
"We’re following your channel very closely," said Denis Boudreau, who came to Florida last week from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. "We gather it’s not clear where exactly it’s going to hit."
Matthew Myer said he was worried about his friend, who he said lost her home during Ian.
"I have no idea what she is doing," he said. "She’s worrying that they’re going to throw her out of the shelter already."