Hurricane aftermath: Home repairs, beach restoration and more

Four months have gone by since Hurricane Matthew lit into Florida. A recent article detailed the ongoing recovery work going on about 140 miles northeast of Tampa in coastal Volusia and Flagler counties.

Houses were flooded by water and sand, the article states. Other houses near beaches sit precariously atop erosion-damaged dunes, with the real possibility that the structures will not survive another big storm.

The article in the Daytona Beach News-Journal says Hurricane Matthew removed nearly two million cubic feet of dunes and sand in just a few hours. Estimates to repair the beaches by replacing the sand stand at almost $50 million. That figure sits atop another big number: $32 million need to repair and strengthen State Road A1A.

Last October, when Matthew hit, a storm surge of up to 7 feet hit Flagler County, with waves of 15 feet and up. Thirty feet of dunes were eaten up by the furious storm. In addition, water and sand pushed inland, flooding houses and streets — whole neighborhoods, the article says — and overwhelmed storm and sewage systems.

Some coastal Flagler County neighborhoods are at great risk when the next hurricane hits, officials say. When dunes are breached, the ocean will rush in again and flood hundreds of homes, a county commissioner said recently.

Even more is at stake, he said: the beaches are the most important attraction in the area’s tourism industry. The director of Hammock Beach Resort said just that one business could lose $8 to $10 million in revenue this year because of Hurricane Matthew. Reduced numbers of tourists will have an inevitable negative impact on sales taxes collections as well.

Here in Tampa, we know well the damage that storms can wreak on our homes and businesses. Repairs can be lengthy and costly, with both factors extended by insurance companies balking at covering claims.

You can speak with an experienced insurance claim attorney at the Williams Law Association, P.A. to discuss bad faith insurance claims and more.