Volusia County

Wilbur-by-the-Sea man, 89, recalls riding out Hurricane Nicole in beachside home

WILBUR-BY-THE-SEA, Fla. — Not once since 89-year-old Jack Allaben and his wife bought their beachside Wilbur-by-the-Sea home in 1965 have they evacuated for a storm.

When they bought the home for the bargain price of $1,000, he said it was teetering on the edge of the sand. So they brought in boulders to reinforce it and have been enjoying their ocean view ever since.


Allaben was luckier than some of his neighbors, who saw portions of their home fall into the ocean from the combined seawall damage from hurricanes Ian and Nicole back-to-back.

“Ian did a lot of damage, but Nicole finished it off,” he said.

Read: Tropical Storm Nicole: Video shows the inside of a Wilbur-By-The-Sea home that crumbled into ocean

He said he and his neighbors would like to bring in more boulders to build up and reinforce the dunes again and hope that they don’t have another storm any time soon.

You can hear more about his story in the video above.

Photos: Wilbur-By-The-Sea homes damaged by Nicole

Click here to download the free WFTV news and weather apps, click here to download the WFTV Now app for your smart TV and click here to stream Channel 9 Eyewitness News live.

Jeff Deal

Jeff Deal, WFTV.com

I joined the Eyewitness News team as a reporter in 2006.

Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.