The U.S Army Corps of Engineers will invest $36.8 million in a Vilano Beach renourishment project, Rep. John Rutherford, R-Florida, announced late this week. The St. John's County beach was one of the state's hardest hit during recent hurricanes.
The Corps will also invest $2 million each in Duval and Nassau counties to firm up the coastal landscape against future storms.
Hurricane Irma on Sept. 11, 2017 was especially destructive in the region, blowing through the Beaches communities, leaving disaster in its wake. Damage included downed trees and power lines, flooding and severe structural damage -- including total loss -- to homes and businesses, particularly along Vilano Beach.
"Hurricanes Matthew and Irma hammered Northeast Florida's coastal communities, causing severe flooding and erosion, so I am pleased to see the Army Corps invest in making Northeast Florida more resilient," Rutherford said in a written statement. "These funds will allow for rebuilding and recovery for Duval, Nassau and St. Johns counties, strengthening our communities in the face of future storms."
As reported by News4Jax, Congress provided funding for the Corps initiatives in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, which was signed into law Feb. 9, according to the release from Rutherford's office. "The funds are part of the UsACE Long-Term Disaster Recovery Investment Program and will be used to construct flood and storm damage reduction projects."
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