Florida emergency management director: Nicole coastal damage could have been worse

It could take years for recovery

ORLANDO, Fla. – Damage sustained along the Volusia coastline from Nicole was far less than anticipated, said Florida’s emergency management director Thursday.

“I’m going to be honest with you,” Kevin Guthrie told News 6, “I thought it was going to be more than we’ve had so far, I figured we may have upwards of 100.”

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Guthrie said he wants to “put the foot on the gas” to revitalize the areas damaged by Hurricane Nicole.

“When this is done and over we search, secure, and stabilize,” Guthrie said. “We will start the recovery process that will take years literally years to complete.”

Guthrie said he has a “lofty goal” of 72 hours to get everything stabilized to start the recovery process and debris removal.

Rick Collins, principal with Bridgepoint Global, had a team in Volusia County Thursday assessing erosion and building damage along the coast.

Collins said the company’s Risk Analysis Mitigation Program, RAMP, is designed to determine risks for buildings still sitting on the hard hot coastline.

“The problem is these buildings are built so close to the water to begin with,” he said, “And the age of the buildings (along with) the catastrophic events like Ian and Nicole, the concern is deterioration to the foundation due to erosion.”

Director Guthrie told News 6 residents should not expect bulldozers moving sand in the next few weeks. Instead, it will take years along with millions of dollars.

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News 6’s Emmy Award-winning Investigative Reporter Mike Holfeld has made Central Florida history with major investigations that have led to new policies, legislative proposals and even -- state and national laws. If you have an issue or story idea, call Mike's office at 407-521-1322.