Ponte Vedra Beach erosion emergency extended

By Kent Justice - Anchor/reporter

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. - Homeowners along the coast of South Ponte Vedra Beach are still worried about beach erosion on their property as St. Johns County has extended a state of emergency.

Storms Friday and Saturday are threatening to undo any progress made since last month.

The declaration allows homeowners in the 2800 and 2900 blocks of State Road A1A to expedite permits for construction of temporary bulkheads.

The fix will cost about $250,000 split up between five homeowners.

"Hopefully nothing happens, but it gives them a chance to protect their homes," said Neal Shinkre, Public Words director for St. Johns County. "Our engineers look at this, monitor the situation. When it comes within the 20 feet, we feel it can cause habitable harm to the house. That's when we call for an emergency."

Shinkre's office worked with county commissioners to authorize the emergency notice because timing is crucial in trying to preserve the homes.

"This allows residents of boundaries of our proclamation to work directly with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to seek any temporary measures they need to protect their homes, allows them 30 days to do that."

Many of the homeowners were not home Friday, but one homeowner who lives full-time in Miami is very concerned. She said the work to save her property is scheduled to begin Monday.

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