How Hurricane Florence could impact Northeast Florida beaches

Storm expected to slam Carolinas, but local beach erosion possible

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VILANO BEACH, Fla. – Although Hurricane Florence is not expected to directly impact Northeast Florida, the storm has created some powerful waves along the Atlantic Coast, reaching all the way into Florida.

Currently there is a high risk of rip currents and possible erosion along the beaches, and Northeast Florida is expected to start seeing increasing wave heights Wednesday through late Thursday. 

Beach erosion has been a concern for several years along Porpoise Point near Vilano Beach.

The water there now washes up close to homes, just feet away from backyards.

Jeff Schubart has been living on Porpoise Point for about a year. In his short time there, he’s watched Mother Nature’s impact washing away the sand in his backyard, revealing a concrete wall and wiping away the dunes.

“Between (Hurricane) Irma and the three nor’easters that we had on full moons, this beach was devastated,” Schubart said. “We’ve lost a good 200 yards of beach. Fourth of July to now, the sand was leveled with that bulkhead coming out and that’s just from the Fourth of July to present day.”

And it might get worse.

In the next two days, as Florence nears the Atlantic Coast, the waves have the potential to reach 9 feet.
The force of the waves could also create strong rip currents and minor flooding.

County officials are continuing to monitor the conditions at Porpoise Point as Florence approaches the Carolinas. They are currently not allowing vehicles onto the beach to prevent worsening the erosion.

The waves are expected to peak at high tide around noon Thursday.

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