Crews work to save erosion damage
FORT LAUDERDALE BEACH, Fla. (WSVN) -- A road block was put up in one city in hopes of keeping out additional waves of damage.
What was once a four-lane road is now down to just two. Part of Fort Lauderdale Beach has disappeared right before our own eyes. "I can't just, can't believe this has happened," said Elisha Wesley. "It's taking the beach completely away. It's gone."
The strong winds managed to destroy 2,500 feet of sidewalk, road way and beach walls near A1A, from Northeast 14th Court to 18th Court, changing the once four-lane road into a two-lane road.
The only thing protecting the last two remaining lanes are concrete barriers placed on the sand to break the water. "A temporary emergency measure to save the road, for the time being," said Florida Department of Transportation spokesperson Barbara Kelleher.
Crews will continue to stack up the barriers "to absorb the impact of the high tides and the waves and continue what they're doing, which is collecting the sand to keep it from eroding away," Kelleher said.
Eighteen truckloads of the barriers came in Wednesday. However, the barricades seem to be no hold for mother nature. "It does worry me," said Wesley. "We can't push the ocean back, the ocean's coming at us."
This is the second flood to occur in Fort Lauderdale Beach in two months since Hurricane Sandy in November. Matt Little, a public information officer for the City of Fort Lauderdale, tried to look at the bright side of this situation. "We have full access to all the hotels, all the beaches and the residences here," he said. "The ocean conditions look pretty good today. We're blessed with a nice day today, so we don't see any problems today."
Tom Faber fishes at the beach, and has lived in the area all his life. He saw this coming. "This is obviously the problem area and continues to be the problem area for awhile. It's not new. Had they started planning five years ago, they would have been a lot better off in filling in the beach. Like they should have, like they do in Del Rey, just like a regular re-nourishment program every five to six years where you're pumping in a bunch of sand."
Re-nourishing the beach had been planned for early next year. Officials say it could be three to four months before they have a permanent solution. In the meantime, FDOT said they will keep an eye on the area of A1A being affected, hoping a bad situation does not get any worse.
FDOT crews have been working to make the most out of what's left and want to salvage one of South Florida's most famous roads. "We don't have a final plan yet," said Kelleher. "We'll be meeting with the city, we'll be meeting with DEP. It all depends on what the final plan is for restoration of the beach in this particular area."
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