Jacksonville, Fl. — St. Augustine Beach residents are concerned about their homes after a section of protection dunes were missing on 12th lane.
The St. Augustine Beach Police are currently investigating after someone called about the dunes being bulldozed behind his neighbor’s home just one day after Hurricane Irma. The concerned neighbor told officers that someone had used a mini bobcat to remove the sand. He admitted he didn’t see it actually happen, but stated he did see the tracks left behind. The responding officer asked the man if he knew of anyone that could have witnessed the event, and he referred him to his friend.
The witness told officers he was walking on the Beach on September 14th around 7 a.m. and noticed the bulldozer plowing the dunes towards the beach. He also told police he saw a man with a working vest while the bulldozer was in operation. When he asked one of the workers what they were doing, they immediately loaded up the bulldozer and left the area, according to the police report.
The woman who lives in front of the damaged dunes says she was aware of the incident but says she didn’t know who could have done it because she was at her other home at the time.
After digging through the police report, it was revealed a St. Augustine Beach Building official sent an e-mail to police about the dunes, saying they had notified the DEP about the cut dunes. The official stated they were cut for an ocean view.
Several neighbors are concerned with the gaping hole with some of their homes being so close to the ocean, and the dunes were protecting them from storm surge if there were another hurricane. There are also environmental concerns about the possibility of destroying the habitat of animals on the beach.