The Daytona Beach shoreline will never look the same again.
The area was hit hard by massive Hurricane Ian, a category 4, when it came ashore on Florida’s western Gulf coast before crossing the state and exiting into the Atlantic around Daytona. By the time it reached Daytona, it was much diminished – but a sustained lashing of wind and waves as the storm churned its power coastward left the beach eroded, to begin with.
Then came Hurricane Nicole. Not as powerful by a long shot (a category 1) but with a historically huge wind field that began battering Florida’s east coast more than a day before it made landfall around West Palm Beach. Nicole then moved inland and weakened, brushing Tampa and Orlando before heading up to Tallahassee and then to Georgia and the Carolinas.
The combination of the two storms’ sustained impact on Daytona Beach washed away massive amounts of the beach.
Storm walls failed, and several structures fell into the Atlantic.
Officials tried evacuating all of the structures up and down the Daytona Beach area, but many refused. Locals shared with FACTZ that their neighbors were pressed to provide “next of kin” information if they weren’t willing to evacuate.
The famous beach destination will never look the same again. Although the water will recede some, the beach and structures in the area are forever changed. It’s a grim reminder that all coastal communities are vulnerable during this period of increased storm activity, much of it linked to climate change.