Hurricane Ian caused millions of damage to Florida’s Space Coast

Brevard County Government Services says Hurricane Ian caused a total of $14 million in damage to county facilities and additional expenses.

More than half of this total is related to damage to the beaches of Brevard.

Meanwhile, the number of Brevard County residents who requested individual assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency reached 4,203.

Hit to the southern beaches:Ian takes a big bite out of South Beaches but spares most of the Space Coast shoreline

FEMA Help:Brevard residents damaged by Hurricane Ian can seek assistance through FEMA

Here is a breakdown of hurricane costs by county department:

Beach damage: County officials said a preliminary assessment of Ian’s impacts found $8.43 million of the $14 million total was related to damage to beaches in the county, mostly at the south end of Brevard.

Mike McGarry, Brevard County Beach Replenishment Coordinator, said county inspections show southern beaches have experienced erosion similar to that which occurred during Hurricane Matthew in 2016 and Hurricane Dorian in 2019.

“Fortunately, our beach maintenance over the past few years has helped protect upland infrastructure and structures,” McGarry said.

McGarry said that if the beach restoration project is deemed eligible for FEMA reimbursement — as similar projects have done in the past — upon completion, Brevard would pay about 13% of the total cost, the state and with FEMA providing refund of the balance.

County money used to pay for beach restoration comes from Brevard’s 5% Tourism Development Tax on hotel rooms and other short-term rentals.

FEMA pays the reimbursement – often several years after the fact – so the county must pay the money for these expenses.

The county currently has about $10 million in reserves for storms like this.

Other county departments reporting major damages or expenses related to Hurricane Ian included Mosquito Control ($2.40 million), Parks and Recreation ($1.43 million), Garbage solids ($569,604), public works ($524,770), utilities ($263,000) and fire relief ($220,163). ).

Mosquito control: Brevard County communications director Don Walker said the county’s mosquito control department suffered a wide range of damage.

Preliminary assessments indicate that the Mosquito Reservoirs suffered the majority of the damage, with more than 14,000 linear feet of earthen levee significantly eroded, undermined and, in some areas, breached. In addition, the roof of a reservoir pumping station was damaged beyond repair.

Reservoirs are salt marsh areas in which the county takes steps to control the mosquito population by proactively flooding the areas, eliminating mosquito breeding without using pesticides.

In ministry offices, some vinyl siding and shingles were missing from buildings, and storage sheds were damaged. Additionally, an electronic gate mechanism was damaged by the flooding.

In addition to damages, Mosquito Control plans to recover some of the costs of storm-related mosquito and flood protection measures, which are included in the $2.35 million estimate.

Brevard County Mosquito Control is conducting aerial and truck spraying, mosquito and disease surveillance, and other public health protection measures due to the significant increase in standing water and the mosquito activity related to Hurricane Ian.

He advises residents to take precautions and protect themselves against West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne diseases by:

  • Emptying and disposal of unnecessary water tanks.
  • Fixing and repairing torn mosquito nets
  • Reduce outdoor exposure during peak times of mosquito activity, such as dawn and dusk.
  • If outdoor exposure is unavoidable during peak hours, residents should wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants and apply U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-registered mosquito repellent.

Parks and recreation: Parks and Recreation Department Director Mary Ellen Donner reported various closures of boat ramps and campgrounds due to flooding or damage, among other issues.

At Parrish Park Titusville, the boat ramp washrooms are closed and the north dock is closed due to high water. There is major erosion on the north side of the toilets near the building foundation and seawall. The northwest corner of the dike is surrounded by an orange fence. The county consults a structural engineer for help in designing the repairs.

Other boat ramps that were closed as of Monday due to flooding or damage include the Bourbeau boat ramp; the launching ramp of the eastern wharf of Eau Gallie; Fox Lake Park; and the north quay of the Jorgensens boat launch.

Damaged campgrounds included Long Point, where 13 sites are unusable and will require site work and power base replacement; and Manatee Hammock, where two sites are closed due to a downed tree.

Water rushed along the Kiwanis Park Boardwalk at Geiger Point in Indialantic during Hurricane Ian.

At Kiwanis Park at Geiger Point, a pedestrian bridge is closed. The bridge is intact, but has been raised. The county is working with a structural engineer to get help with designing the repairs.

Hatbill Park is inaccessible due to flooding along State Road 46.

Solid waste: Solid Waste Management Department Director Tom Mulligan said nearly all of his department’s hurricane-related expenses of $569,604 relate to a preliminary debris assessment conducted across the county after the storm. , and the estimated cost of collection and final disposal of storm debris.

Mulligan said the cost figure is likely to rise due to continued flooding in some areas and people bringing in additional plant debris for collection.

Public works: Brevard County Director of Public Works Marc Bernath said his department’s expenses of $524,770 related to Hurricane Ian included items such as labor and equipment for the preparation of hurricane support, sandbag support, checking water elevations, monitoring portable and stationary pumps, driving known flood zones, and ensuring flow.

In addition, Bernath said, a roof that was blown off one of his department’s pole barns and a soffit blew off the deck of the Mathers Bridge tender house.

Emergency operations and shelters: Walker said the county made a preliminary estimate of $125,000 for the cost of operating the emergency operations center and opening three storm shelters during Ian.

The activation took place from 2 p.m. on September 28 to 8 p.m. on September 29.

Walker said the county will work with FEMA and its insurance company to recover costs related to Hurricane Ian.

Dave Berman is a business writer at FLORIDA TODAY. Contact Berman at [email protected] Twitter: @bydaveberman.

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Seek help from FEMA

Those with Hurricane Ian-related damage can register with the Federal Emergency Management Agencyby one of these methods:

  • Online at DisasterAssistance.gov
  • On the FEMA mobile app
  • By calling 800-621-3362 (FEMA)

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