Home USA News Florida County estimates damage from Nicole at $481 million

Florida County estimates damage from Nicole at $481 million

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DAYTONA BEACH SHORES, Fla. (AP) — Damage is estimated at more than $481 million in a central Florida coastal county where homes washed into the Atlantic Ocean after Hurricane Nicole last week.

Damage from the Category 1 storm in Volusia County, where Daytona Beach is located, exceeded that from the much stronger Hurricane Ian, which caused $377 million in the county, officials said. Hurricane Ian, a Category 4 storm, made landfall in southwest Florida in late September and swept 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 left homes vulnerable to Nicole in Wilbur-by-the-Sea, a quaint beach community where single-family homes fell into the ocean last week. Volusia County officials said at least 30 single-family homes in Wilbur-by-the-Sea and seven single-family homes in nearby Ponce Bay were declared unsafe after Hurricane Nicole.

In Daytona Beach Shores and New Smyrna Beach, two dozen high-rise apartments were evacuated and building inspectors declared them unsafe.

Daytona Beach has the most property damage in the county, estimated at $370.3 million, according to the Volusia County Property Assessor. It was followed by New Smyrna Beach ($51.1 million) and Daytona Beach ($50 million).

The property assessor’s office warned that the numbers are likely to 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 records began in 1853.

The storm caused five deaths in Florida. A man and a woman were electrocuted when they touched downed power lines in the Orlando area. Also in Orange County, one man was killed in a car crash and a male pedestrian was struck and killed by a vehicle due to poor road conditions. Another man died when waves smashed his yacht against a dock in Cocoa, despite efforts to resuscitate him by paramedics who managed to climb aboard when the boat broke loose from its moorings.

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This story has been corrected to indicate that Hurricane Ian was a Category 4 storm, not a Category 3 storm.

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