Manasota Key seawall project proceeds past hurricane season

MANASOTA KEY, Fla. – A seawall meant to protect against storm damage that cost shorefront condominium residents $10,000 each remained under construction Wednesday, the final day of hurricane season.

Some residents of La Coquina criticized what they characterized as the sluggish pace of construction while others expressed concern that the wall won’t protect against the strongest of storms. Still, resident Steve Lawson called it a necessary expense.

“I feel safer to have it out there,” Lawson said. “It saves the house. It saves everything. It costs a little bit, but you got to do what you got to do.”

Two storms lashed the community this year. Tropical Storm Colin ripped through staircases and demolished the foundations of the beachfront properties in June. It was followed by the extensive beach erosion from Hurricane Hermine in September.

All of it made resident Lee Anderson more uneasy than she’s ever been.

“I’ve been an owner since ’97 and never been concerned about it before, and I am now,” she said.

Anderson said the seawall won’t entirely assuage her fears even when built.

“A seawall is no guarantee that God and Mother Nature are not going to take our beach away in another bad storm again,” she said.

Charlotte County officials are working to secure funding for a multimillion dollar beach renourishment plan.

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