Video shows tide break through Vilano dunes

VILANO BEACH, Fla. — A Vilano man and his machine were no match for the strong surge Nicole brought to the beach.

Action News Jax shared Chris McKinney’s story in October after Hurricane Ian. He used a bobcat and pumps to fight the tide from breaching into homes along Viejo Street.


“That might have been what helped prevent storm surge from coming in on the back,” Rex Benedict, a Vilano neighbor, said.

But the machines were no match for Nicole, which broke through and flooded several streets in Vilano. Now neighbors are urging the county to find a solution.

“In Vilano, we’re low. We need to be prepared for storm surge,” Benedict said.

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Neighbors told Action News Jax’s Robert Grant that flooding reached up to two feet on some streets. A permit was issued for the county to protect Porpoise Point Drive. But many want to see something done for the houses east of that area.

The county told Action News Jax that it does not have any current projects planned for Viejo Street, but there is a potential FEMA emergency berm project “for the eastern side of the property in the near future, pending emergency engineering analysis of eligibility and easement participation in the surrounding area.”

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