Mere weeks after Hurricane Ian hit Florida as a powerful Category 4 storm, the state’s still-recovering east coast was again seen getting hammered Thursday, with Tropical Storm Nicole washing out local infrastructure, beaches and prompting mass evacuations.
Video and photos posted on social media show beachfront homes and buildings crashing into the Atlantic Ocean along Volusia County’s already fragile shoreline, in some places exposing living rooms and bedrooms and leaving the remains of in-ground swimming pools dangling over the waves.
The destruction falls in line with advance warnings from local officials who cautioned that the area had yet to recover from Hurricane Ian, which hit the state’s southwest coast on Sept. 28 before moving diagonally across the state.
“There are dozens upon dozens of buildings that have been declared structurally unsafe here along the beach in Volusia County,” Volusia Sheriff Mike Chitwood said Wednesday while urging residents to evacuate ahead of Nicole.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday acknowledged that Nicole, which initially made landfall as a Category 1 storm, was not as powerful as Ian but that the area it was hitting was extremely fragile.
“This is obviously not as significant of a storm as Hurricane Ian was, but, coming on the heels of that, you’re seeing communities, particularly in the Volusia County area where you had a lot of that erosion on the coastline, this has put some of those structures in jeopardy,” he said.
Check out some of the photos and videos below: