Flooding damages A1A, beach in Fort Lauderdale

New barriers installed after roadway crumbles into water

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Crews worked through Saturday morning in Fort Lauderdale to save a section of State Road A1A damaged by flooding.

As the waters enroached upon A1A, large sections of the road collapsed into the ocean. According to officials, workers installed concrete barriers to defend the road against the pounding waves.

Local 10's Christina Vazquez reported Friday the ocean consumed sidewalks, parking meters and palm trees.

"It's gone. It's not coming back. You're not going to have a beach here anymore, and hopefully it doesn't go on. Hopefully it stops," said resident Pat Kennedy.

The foundation of a street light at Northeast 16th court was surrounded by white surf by Friday evening and water was lapping exposed wires.

A lifeguard stand was moved about 100 yards north on the beach. According to city spokesperson Matt Little, each of the towers costs $35,000.

Little said workers were able to save each of the city's parking pay stations.

Crews were surveying the road and said they believe the eastern edge of the northbound lanes may be compromised. Despite the damage, traffic was moving smoothly. Police turned the two southbound lanes into a one-way route for drivers in both directions.

Officials said the damage and partial street flooding were the result of high tides paired with four to five foot swells. The National Weather Services said it expected "possible breakers around nine feet. These conditions are expected to continue to bring street flooding, particularly along A1A."

Kennedy, who has lived in Fort Lauderdale since 1952, said she wonders if the ocean will someday take over all of A1A.

"I've lived here all my life and the beach used to go way out there and no longer. I think mother nature is taking her stuff back," said Kennedy. "We have to appreciate what we have down here because we might not have it forever."

People have watched the steady erosion of the beach since super storm Sandy swiped the area with high winds gusts and rough waves.

"Right before Sandy and within the last two to three weeks, it just got shorter and shorter," said resident Teddy Leoutsakos.

Residents said the intensity of the water Friday was different. They told Vasquez they could hear the sea wall buckle under the relentless pounding of waves.

"I don't know what they are going to do about it, but it's gotten worse every day since Sandy," said Andrea Williams.

The problem is expected to worsen with a high tide and full moon on Wednesday.

Stay tuned to Local 10 and refresh this page for more details as they emerge.

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