Brevard County hopes for quick help to restore dunes

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BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. —

As Hurricane Sandy moved past Florida strong waves ripped at Brevard County shores.

With as many as 17 homes and businesses considered vulnerable, Brevard county officials are hoping the Federal Emergency Management Agency will approve their request quickly to get an emergency dune replenishment project underway.

"We have had a number of storms that have done some damage but nothing like this," said Ernie Brown, with the Brevard Natural Resources Department.

The dunes were rebuilt in 2005.

It took almost 12 weeks after Hurricane Jeanne for the first trucks started dumping sand on the edge of the beach.         

Brown said homeowners could be looking at the same time frame.

"We are hoping they will act expeditiously.  It can take two to three months to actually get a formal answer from them," said Brown.

In the meantime, the county is allowing property owners to bring in their own sand, if warranted, to protect their buildings.

Hurricane season may be about to end, but it's the winter months when the sand naturally depletes, which could further endanger homes on the edge.

"Northeasterners are pretty significant storms on our beaches, especially when you have a deflated beach or eroded beach as is the case right now," said Brown.

Brevard County officials said the dune replacement bill could top $10 million dollars. They are hoping FEMA will pick up the tab.

While the county is working with FEMA to get the dunes rebuilt, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was out accessing the rest of the beach, and is considering dredging and pumping up more sand to widen the beaches again.