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Irma 2nd hurricane in less than year to impact Vilano Beach

Some residents clean up homes, others have to find new ones

VILANO BEACH, Fla. – Almost a week after Hurricane Irma swept through the beaches, homes in Vilano Beach are still roped off and condemned.

Many homes along Coastal Highway took a hard hit for the second time in less than a year. People who dealt with Hurricane Matthew are now cleaning up after Irma, showing their resilience.

Some have to clean up, but others have to find new homes. News4Jax on Sunday spotted several “no trespassing” signs placed by the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office, along with caution tape warning people not to enter.

All along Coastal Highway are homes now marked "unlivable."

Many of the homes along the oceanfront took a hard beating from Hurricane Matthew almost a year ago and Irma just a week ago.

“I'm saddened for the people that live here,” resident Cynthia Knoche said.

This community is quiet, and a place where people come to live a slower pace of life.

Knoche has owned property on Vilano Beach for several years. Seeing people lose their homes during hurricane season has been devastating, she said.

“My heart goes out to people that have experienced that kind of devastation, and fortunately, some of my neighbors like myself had tree limbs down and a lot of debris, but nothing a little elbow grease and a chainsaw couldn't handle,” Knoche said.

Others said living on the beach can be good and bad.

This past year has given many examples of the tough moments, Jacob Unrein said.

“A lot of people view this mostly year-round, without destruction of the storm, but it goes hand in hand with the location,” he said.

Neighbors are also worried about onlookers. More people are stopping, parking and getting out of their cars to get a better look at some of these homes, which officials said is dangerous.

Not only that, neighbors said, it's an invasion of people's privacy.