Erosion still worries residents as Arthur leaves coastline

State of Emergency declared in April due to erosion issue

By Kumasi Aaron - Reporter/The Morning Show anchor

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. - Hurricane Arthur has come and gone from the Florida coastline, but anytime storms reach our area, there's a concern for erosion.

It's an issue people living along State Road A1A in Ponte Vedra Beach have been dealing with for a while, with a strong increase in the last three months.

The county even declared a State of Emergency a few months ago.

Some residents there said they felt okay with the hurricane off the coast because they have a sea wall up.

For those that don't, there's a little anxiety about what Arthur may have brought and why they said they can't have a sea wall up right now.

"We have two stakes that are no longer supporting anything because it's been eroded underneath them," said Victor Halbachs.

Halbachs said he's lost 45 feet of his dune in the last two years. Twenty of those in the last three months.

That's why he's almost unphased by the threat of Hurricane Arthur.

"I mean, unfortunately were getting used to it, we certainly don't like it and don't want to tolerate it but were limited in what we can do," said Halbach.

Halbach said the Department of Environmental Protection gave him a temporary permit and he can't build a sea wall until his dune is back to the original spot.

Other homes further north have been allowed to install sea walls, a great help one neighbor said.

But for Halbach, having owned his home since 1987, he said it's difficult to think about more of his dune washing away.

"It removes some of the land we've paid for but it also, more importantly, erodes the protection from the dune for our house.

Now as Arthur continues his way up the coast, it brings the possibility of stronger waves and higher tides, Halbach said he'll watch and wait, staying hopeful that he'll be able to keep as much of his dune as possible, and that his holiday plans will stay intact.

"We've got our family, some coming from out of town to be here, for the Fourth of July and if it comes in and knocks this dune walk out and makes it unsafe to walk on, then we are not going to have much of a Fourth of July," said Halbach.

The erosion has been such an issue the county declared a State of Emergency for some homes along the St. Johns County's coastline in April.

Homeowners said the new wall has made a difference for some but not for all.

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