Daytona Beach Shores condos evacuated amid fears of collapse from Hurricane Nicole erosion

Nicole has been pounding the eastern coast of Florida with wind, rain and relentless waves. It is expected to make landfall as a Category 1 hurricane overnight into Thursday morning.

DAYTONA BEACH SHORES, Fla. – Residents living in six oceanfront condominiums in Daytona Beach Shores, Florida, were asked to evacuate Wednesday as coastal erosion from Hurricane Nicole has raised fears of a building collapse.

Nicole has been pounding the eastern coast of Florida with wind, rain and relentless waves. The storm made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane early Thursday morning near Vero Beach.

This influx of water from Nicole has flooded coastal areas and eaten away at beaches in the Daytona Beach area.

Officials are worried the waves may eat away at the foundations of the six oceanfront buildings and lead to a collapse.


"The last thing we want to see is another Surfside happen in our community," Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said, referencing the deadly collapse of a multi-story residential building the Miami suburb last summer. Chitwood and his team gathered 30 deputies who visited every unit in four of the condos to ensure that every resident evacuated. 

But 350-400 residents they spoke to, four "absolutely refused to vacate," Chitwood said.

"It's very important that, if you still have time, to evacuate, do so," says FOX Weather meteorologist Jane Minar. "Listen to these orders."

Chitwood added that building inspectors have deemed six more condos to be structurally unsound, as well as 22 homes that will likely not survive the storm.  

"It is not ‘if’ but ‘when’ these buildings collapse that we're going to have problems," Chitwood said.

The erosion has already led to the collapse of one public building in Daytona Beach Shores.

In nearby Daytona Beach, crews were rushing to reinforce the shoreline where several homes are located in an effort to prevent a collapse.

Thousands of people across Florida have been evacuated in advance of Nicole's arrival.