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Jacksonville Beach mayor says they lost 50% of dunes since Nicole, Ian

Jacksonville Beach Mayor Chris Hoffman says the dunes are on the list for restoration by the Army Corps of Engineers, but not until 2024.

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. — Jacksonville Beach fared well through Nicole; however the dunes have now taken back-to-back beatings by tropical storms. They’re in rough shape. 

The Mayor of Jacksonville Beach Chris Hoffman says between the back-to-back storms, their local beach expert says they lost 50% of the dunes but they did their job.

What happens next? Hoffman says time is our best friend.

The dunes are a part of nature and over time, they will restore themselves.

The Army Corps of Engineers has Jax Beach down on the list for dune rehabilitation, but that’s not until 2024. Hoffman says she will work to move the city up the list. 

In the meantime, they’re quite a site. Similar to how they looked after Ian, the dunes have ridged cliff-like edges standing 5 feet high. 

The berms, a makeshift sand dune built up in the beach walkways to block the waves from coming into the city, held up but they are also steep and ridged. 

“I was a little nervous," said Matthew Tan. We caught up with him on his sunrise walk the day after Nicole hit. He moved to Jacksonville Beach two months ago and got to meet Ian and Nicole.

“I’ve never been through a hurricane before. So I was definitely prepping as much as I could," Tan said. 

Watch: Drone video shows massive damage to Jax Beach dunes

He says the beach looks messy, but nothing that can’t be cleaned up.

Alicia Polk walk also on a beach walk Friday morning. She came down for vacation from northwest Arkansas. 

"We had the trip planned since summer," she said. "We live in tornado valley and we have storms but we’ve never been in a tropical storm so I was like let’s go to the tropical storm!”

People are walking the beach taking pictures of the dunes in awe of their new structure. 

She wants to make sure people are not standing on the dunes or berms. They are unstable. If you’ve ever lifted a sand bag, you know sand is heavy. A toppling dune can be dangerous. 

The berms will be smoothed out soon by the city. Hoffman says the berms are even more unstable than dunes because they don’t have sea oats growing in them. 

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