Vilano Beach homeowners still dealing with aftermath of Hurricane Matthew

Resident Billy White says he hasn't gotten enough help from St. Johns County

VILANO BEACH, Fla. – More than four months after Hurricane Matthew swept up Florida's east coast, many Vilano Beach homeowners are still dealing with the aftermath of the storm. 

In St. Johns County, Vilano Beach was one of the areas hit the hardest by the hurricane and dozens of homes were left with neon markings indicating that they were damaged. 

Residents said they love that the beach is quiet, peaceful and typically not very crowded. But since the October storm, they have been dealing with noise from bulldozers and tractors working on the beach. 

"Since the hurricane, we lost all the sand, all the dirt. The state and county haven't done anything about it," said Billy White, who owns a beachfront home. 

White told News4Jax Monday that he's frustrated because he feels neglected by the county since Hurricane Matthew. 

"They kept dragging their feet with it. The state said our house was going to be fine. Obviously, it wasn't. It took all the sand from underneath all the houses on the beach," White said. "They've got a big hole over there they need to fill in. We purchased the wall for the county and their stairway to the beach, but they need to fill it with sand, obviously, because we don't want to pay for their sand too."

White explained that the hole is on county property, which is right next to his property. He said he had to pay for the seawall with his own personal money and now he's scared that he's going to end up having to pay for the sand to fill in the hole. 

For more than 20 years, White has lived in his Vilano Beach house. He said Matthew was by far the worst storm he's ever seen. 

After the storm last October, neon markings could be seen on nearly every beachfront home on A1A in Vilano Beach -- meaning there was damage and some too bad to even safety enter.

The markings have since been cleaned off, or in some cases, faded. But White said work continues on the beach, on the roads and everywhere he turns. 

"There's sand in the yard every day. There's nothing to stop it, so it just blows all day," he said. "It's just been a nuisance. Nobody does anything unless we do it. The state and the county, kind of, left this beach alone. They've been dredging Jacksonville Beach and St. Augustine Beach and they've left us alone. I do understand there's some plans to get it done. It's always easier said than done, so hopefully, they'll help us out."

White added the crewmen who have been out working on the beach by his home have been great, and he gives them credit. But he said he's worried that the hole next to his property will never get filled if he doesn't end up doing it on his own.

News4Jax reached out to St. Johns County officials on Monday, but all of its departments were closed for Presidents Day.