Seawall collapses in South Ponte Vedra as coast reels from storms

Action News Jax was able to take a closer look at a seawall that is falling apart in South Ponte Vedra Beach, and how it’s threatening a row of homes already on the brink of major destruction.

Neighbor Joe Solcz who spoke with Action News Jax said sand dunes from a renourishment project used to be as high as his concrete seawall, but now they’re all gone.

The tide can also be seen ripping into a portion of seawall a few doors down, as contractors work to save the homes behind it.

“Repairs are being done but you know, it’s been a losing battle for the past few days,” Solcz said.

A few doors down from Solcz, the ocean seems to have the upper hand. Powerful waves have breached a seawall, and they threaten even more damage. “The guys are saving the house [behind the breach] right now,” he pointed out.

Our Action News Jax First Alert Weather Team says a weather pattern known as a local Nor’easter brought moderately strong winds, and normally it wouldn’t be a big deal but after Ian and Nicole, the coast is reeling.

“It’s been a big pit in our stomach,” Solcz said of the uncertainty. He has been in Ponte Vedra since 2016 and after Hurricane Matthew, he had to rebuild his seawall.

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“[We got] a great, high-quality wall that was deep,” he emphasized. “How much was it?” asked Action News Jax reporter Jessica Barreto. “It was about 175 [thousand dollars], and then we had to fill it in with dirt,” he explained.

Even with this barrier, he wonders what a direct impact from a hurricane or storm would look like.

“These [storms] are all skirting us and it’s been pretty rough,” Solcz shared.

So even after that investment, he says if his next-door neighbors don’t agree on a sturdier seawall, he’ll likely be forced to move away and sell his dream home.

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“I think somebody will like it because it’s built the right way,” he reassured.

“There’s probably no extremely long-term solution, but I think one continuous well-built seawall that’s very deep will help those houses last another decade or so, I don’t know,” he added.

Our Action News Jax First Alert Weather Team says high surf in the area will also continue through the weekend.

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