FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. – Flagler County is presently surveying the volume of sand lost from its dunes – it’s a lot – while simultaneously coordinating with Flagler Beach, the Florida Department of Transportation, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Army Corps of Engineers about the emergency measures that can be taken to protect State Road A1A and beyond.
“There is a lot of critical erosion, and it is getting worse in the days following the storm,” County Engineer Faith Alkhatib said. “There is a lot of coordination going on as we assess the situation. It will take some time – maybe two weeks – and we will have a better idea of where we stand.”
In 2016, the Flagler Beach Pier was pummeled by Hurricane Matthew and lost more than 150 feet. A1A took a massive beating as well. Hurricane Irma followed in 2017 with subsequent damage and Dorian hit in the 2019 season. The pier reopened in early September of that year after inspections showed that it had weathered Dorian without damage.
The Army Corps of Engineers is surveying the portion of the beach where its federalized project is scheduled to begin in 2023, which is the 2.6 miles between South 6th Street to South 28th Street.
“FDOT is looking at a combination of sand and rock revetment to protect State Road A1A,” said Alkhatib. “They are looking at the area between North 19th Street and North 23rd Street. We are also working with FDEP on emergency sand for Flagler Beach and other locations.”
Additionally, the Florida Department of Transportation is repairing a roadway depression in the southbound lane of State Road A1A around South 14th Street.
The Flagler County GIS (Geographic Information System) drone team has been taking footage of the length of the beach for before-after comparisons to provide an accurate assessment and to help calculate the volume of sand sacrificed by the dunes.
“Our entire staff is working extremely hard so that we have all the data to set a clear path forward for recovery throughout the county,” said County Administrator Heidi Petito. “We are working swiftly to get things back in order for the safety and well-being of our residents.”