Beachfront homewoners say they need sand and seawalls

Jessica Clark reports. 10/27/2016

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. -- Linda Chambless has a home on South Ponte Vedra Beach. This week, she's been inspecting the badly damaged houses from hurricane Matthew.

"This house has been undermined completely," Chambless pointed to a house on the edge of a dune. 

The back wall is nearly gone, the rug is hanging out, he bed is still made and a sofa has fallen onto the beach below.

Chambless is the vice president of the South Ponte Vedra - Vilano Beach Homeowners Preservation Association.

Many people in that group, who have houses here, are meeting the with Florida Department of Environmental Protection about the putting in seawalls and replenishing these beaches with sand.

Chambless said there are two issues here. She said the first is, "How do we get permitting to get seawalls as quickly as possible?"

And the second, she said, is pumping sand that was intended for St. Augustine Beach and putting some of it onto South Ponte Vedra and Vilano Beach.

"To me I'm lucky to have my house," Sean McMullen said. He has a house just a few miles south in Vilano Beach. He said his boulders and rocks saved his home, and he says rocks are better protection than a metal or wood seawall.

"These three houses are the only houses grandfathered on the each to have stone. No one else can have stone now," McMullen said.

He -- like many here -- said the Army Corps of Engineers needs to pump some sand onto the critically eroded beaches of Vilano and South Ponte Vedra.

(© 2016 WTLV)


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