Volusia County

Daytona Beach Shores residents wait for updates after 24 buildings deemed unsafe

DAYTONA BEACH SHORES, Fla. — Hundreds of people who live in Daytona Beach Shores had to leave their apartments after Hurricane Ian and Tropical Storm Nicole because their apartments were deemed unsafe.


The city initially hoped some residents would be able to return today, but Channel 9′s Sabrina Maggiore found that none of the buildings have been cleared so far.

The city said that all 24 of the buildings east of State Road A1A are still deemed unsafe.

Read: Popular Ponce Inlet restaurant damaged in Hurricane Nicole, owner promises to rebuild

This means no one is authorized to return at this point.

For the residents of Pirates Cove, it means they will be waiting a while longer before they will be allowed back into their apartments.

Caution tape still guards the door of the Pirates Cove apartment complex, signaling that the building isn’t ready to accept any visitors.

Salvatore Moretti said he’s staying with friends until he’s allowed back into his apartment, but it could take a while longer.

Read: 24 Volusia beachfront condos must be assessed by an engineer before residents can move back in

“They are waiting on an engineer to come up and test the structure,” he said. “Unfortunately, they are having trouble getting hold of one because of all the stuff that’s going on.”

Ian and Nicole eroded sand dunes and compromised property across Daytona Beach Shores and none of the buildings that closed during the storm — including the Pirates Cove apartments — have been cleared to reopen.

“I did speak to an engineer firm that said they were representing 20 different properties here and they have inspectors on site,” said Daytona Beach Shores City Manager Kurt Swartzlander.

Read: ‘Unsafe’: Residents, guests forced out of nearly 2 dozen condos and hotels in Daytona Beach Shores

Swartzlander provided an update Saturday and said that so far, the city knows at least one of the buildings was so badly damaged that it will need work done before residents can return.

He said that this will likely be the case for other buildings as more engineering reports are turned in, but there’s no fixed timeline right now.

This morning, the Daytona Beach Shores Police Department of Public Safety received a call that residents had defied the order to vacate Castaway’s Beach Resort.

“These people defying the order to vacate are unnecessarily putting our first responder’s lives at risk,” said Public Safety Director Michael Fowler. “There was a mandatory evacuation order of the entire beachside during the storm.”

Moretti says it’s an understandable waiting game, given the damage across Volusia County.

“Until they get an engineer out here to test the structure, they’re probably not going to know a lot more than we do,” he said.

Moretti said he is patient, but he is ready to put the last month of storms behind him.

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