A plan to protect State Road A1A in Fort Lauderdale from further water damage appeared to be working Saturday night, but some lanes in the vulnerable stretch remained closed.
The Florida Department of Transportation declared an emergency Friday, when portions of the road collapsed into the ocean and parts of the beach were destroyed. The ocean consumed sidewalks, parking meters and palm trees. The department worked into Saturday morning to install concrete barriers along the damaged four block stretch of A1A.
“It seems like the barriers they put in have seemed to actually start to hold back some of the shoreline,” said resident Debbie Mayor.
Mayor and her husband Craig told Local 10’s Christina Vazquez the beach erosion has changed the shoreline and brought the sound of the waves into their home nearby.
“We had the windows open, a cool night. You can actually hear the ocean now, you can hear it crystal clear,” said Craig.
“You can hear it crystal clear, we've never heard it this strong before,” said Debbie.
Officials said the damage and partial street flooding were the result of high tides paired with four to five foot swells. Locals have watched the beach erode in the weeks since super storm Sandy swiped the area with strong wind gusts and large waves.
“We have no beaches, so it’s really getting a little scary for all of us now,” said Craig.
On Friday, crews were surveying the road and said they believe the eastern edge of the northbound lanes may be compromised. Police turned the two southbound lanes into a one-way route for drivers in both directions.
State inspectors spent much of Saturday trying to determine the safety of parts of the roadway. They said it is still unclear when the closed lanes will be reopened to traffic.