Amid severe drought, Florida beaches at risk of continued erosion
WILBUR-BY-THE SEA, Fla. - Some of Volusia County's beaches were hit hard by Hurricane Ian and Nicole last year leading to significant beach erosion. They remain in a vulnerable position months later – and could be impacted by a potential system in the coming days.
High surf could be looming in the days ahead and threaten the shores of Daytona Beach and Wilbur-By-The-Sea. Models point to a Gulf system brewing late this weekend and into next week that could bring breaking waves and more coastal erosion to beaches that were battered by back-to-back hurricanes last year.
"We were shocked when we came and saw all the erosion and the pier that’s down, said Wendy Damoral who is vacationing from
Kentucky. "It just looks like a different place."
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The current forecast calls for gusty onshore winds and rain to worsen by late Sunday, and carry through midweek. These conditions would hinder the ongoing efforts to rebuild those beaches.
While rain is needed to fight Florida's drought conditions, coastal erosion is not.
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According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, 55% of the state, including most of Central Florida, is considered to be in severe drought conditions, compared to 43% the previous week, and 19% three months ago.
Beach officials are urging visitors to be wary of high rip currents and coastal flooding.