St. Johns to consider declaring erosion emergency

Oceanfront residents ask for help as erosion nears their homes


ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – The St. Johns County Commission will hold an emergency meeting Thursday morning to consider declaring a state of emergency over coastal erosion in South Ponte Vedra and Summer Haven.

Residents have been asking for help from the county after erosion has come within feet of the back door of their oceanfront homes.

"Every high tide, they were losing about three to four feet over the past three days," resident DeDe Ortega told News4Jax last weekend.

She says the Department of Environmental Protection checked on the erosion and suggested that neighbors put in a temporary seawall. She says a more permanent solution is needed.

Neighbors told Channel 4 Wednesday night that the erosion situation in Vilano and Ponte Vedra Beaches has gone from bad to worse.

"We got very lucky. We were actually packing and preparing to move out, and then the storm stopped," said Helder Paive.

Paive told Channel 4 that he's lived in his rental home for the last year and a half. Many of his neighbors have already moved away from their deteriorating land.

"It's needed and it's appreciated. We need to get to the emergency state so that people can start protecting their homes and start building a seawall. Without it, it would be very difficult," said Paive.

The commission will meet at 11 a.m. Thursday in the San Sebastian Conference Room of the County Administration Building, 500 San Sebastian View, St. Augustine.