Hurricane Matthew hit Daytona Beach - Flagler Beach area on October 6 and 7, 2016. Hotels and motels in Daytona suffered $67 Mil in damages. Some of major hotels reported 90% of rooms having water intrusion, smashed windows... Roofs were gone from so many residential and commercial structures, signes were busted, the beaches became a mess...
It’s been over half a year, and yet signs of destruction are still felt. They are not dominating, you would drive around and feel like it never happened. Fallen trees, broken poles have been removed, roads cleaned, and yet time from time you see still boarded windows, tarp instead of roofs...
The tallest building in Daytona area – 29-story Peck Plaza - is empty. It has been vacated due to extensive damage It is fenced, and construction workers are the only people there.
You can still see boarded windows here and there. A lot of roofs are still waiting to be replaced and blue and white tarp is not a rare scene.
The Plaza Resort & Spa, though in operation, has 2 top floors closed, as they are working on the units there.
Magnificent oceanfront Hammock Beach Resort in Palm Coast sustained significant damage. Atlantic Grill and the Lodge were closed. And their ocean front golf course was heavily damaged and was closed as well.
This Jack Nicklaus signature design known for it 6 oceanfront holes will reopen in October 2017, a year after it was hit by the Hurricane. The restoration work “includes re-grassing all fairways, greens and rough with the salt-tolerant Platinum Paspalum as well as reconstructing each tee box, bunker and green complex, according to the release from Salamander Hotels & Resorts”, which owns Hammock Beach Resort.
And yet economic strength and resiliency are clearly the mark of this after-the-Hurricane period. The restoration effort was massive. The amount of debris on the roads and in backyard was enormous, yet immediately people started cleaning their lots, city put everything they could to do their work. Power restoration was a priority and trucks not only from Florida Power and Light, but also from other power giants from other states were all over…
You wouldn’t see much of the remaining damage, and it is simply a sign of power that this Hurricane packed. Yet we were lucky, that the eye of the storm never touched our shore. In Daytona the peak wind was 91 mph, but it is measured at the airport.
The coast guard said that on the beach the peak was 115 MPH, and at the wall of the eye very close from the beach the wind was 135 MPH. Had it come just a littler closer and brush the beach, the destruction would have been unimaginable.
We were lucky this time.
Jon Zolsky is onwer/broker of Daytona Condo Realty, specializing in condos and condo-hotels