Flagler County assesses damage to A1A, beaches in aftermath of Nicole

Several Flagler County parks closed until further notice after storm rips through county

Flagler County Emergency Management shared this photo as damage to A1A was assessed the day after Nicole ripped through the county. (WJXT)

FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. – Flagler County officials set to work Friday assessing the damage from Nicole, which made landfall Thursday as a Category 1 hurricane and left damage along the Northeast Florida coast, despite quickly weakening to a tropical storm.

Several Flagler County Parks are closed until further notice because of flooding caused by Nicole, officials said.

Herschel King Park, Bings Landing, Moody Boat Ramp, Bull Creek Fish Camp, Russell Landing, Shell Bluff and Princess Place Preserve will remain closed for the time being.

“This is all because of flooding,” said General Services Director Mike Dickson. “The floating docks are unusable. We won’t be able to set them until the water recedes.”

Flagler County Emergency Management posted photos on Facebook Friday showing damage along Bay Drive Park and the Sea Colony area.

Emergency Management Director Jonathan Lord went up in a Flagler County Fire Rescue helicopter Friday to assess the coastal damage in Flagler Beach and saw Department of Transportation crews working fast to repair damage to A1A.

Aerial images from Bull Creek Fish Camp showed the waters there had yet to recede from flooding on Thursday.

Damage assessment crews were also spotted on A1A evaluating the area. Contractors had to work on emergency repairs to A1A in Flagler Beach after large sections of the pavement washed away Thursday morning.

Officials said high tide at 9 a.m. Friday would impact water levels in Flagler County even though the storm had passed the area.

“Things should settle down after that,” Lord said.

Flagler County lifted its evacuation order for the barrier island shortly after noon on Thursday,

At the www.flaglercounty.gov/emergency website, residents can sign up for the ALERTFlagler notification system, directly accessible at www.flaglercounty.gov/alertflagler.

Trash pick-up

Waste Pro will resume its regular pickup schedule Friday for unincorporated Flagler County, including normal recycling and yard waste collection. Due to minimal storm debris, the county does not intend to provide additional vegetation debris removal generated from Nicole.

“While Hurricane Nicole did a number on our dunes and beaches, the effects were minimal to the majority of the county,” said County Administrator Heidi Petito. “Collection processes will return to normal tomorrow We ask residents to please follow Waste Pro Guidelines for debris pickup.”

Loose leaves and small twigs must be contained to enable collection efforts.

Regular guidelines are as follows:

  • Garbage is picked up twice a week, between the hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. on scheduled collection days. Items for collection must be placed curbside in a neat and orderly manner. All garbage and small or loose items must be placed in garbage cans or tied in plastic garbage bags.
  • Bulk pickup (furniture/large items) is normally scheduled on the second scheduled pickup day of the week. Construction and demolition material is not considered bulk and will not be picked up by Waste Pro. All residents will need to dispose of this type of material at their own expense.
  • White goods such as refrigerators, washers, dryers, hot water heaters, etc., place at curbside and allow 3-5 days for pickup. Please call Waste Pro at 386-586-0800 to make arrangements.
  • Loose yard waste – Must be stacked/placed adjacent to the pavement in piles that do not exceed of 3 feet wide by 3 feet tall by 6 feet long, or similar dimension not exceeding two (2) cubic yards. Additionally, individual tree limbs are not to exceed six (6) inches in diameter.
  • Containerized yard waste – Each container with yard waste shall not exceed fifty (50) pounds or be larger than five (5) feet on any side. Additionally, limbs are not to exceed six (6) inches in diameter.

Pumping Marineland Acres

Flagler County Engineering Department arranged to pump Marineland Acres drainage system, which includes the Sea Colony area, pre-Nicole, and began the operation as soon as weather conditions became safe enough Thursday. The pond water elevation level has been dropped by 4 feet – and the roadway system by a foot and a half.

“We anticipated that there would be flooding from the storm, so we didn’t wait for it to happen to begin making arrangements,” said County Engineer Faith Alkhatib. “We have great partners, and everyone came together quickly to address the issue. This also helps Washington Oaks and all of our beachside area.”

Those partners include the St. Johns River Water Management District, Consor Engineers, and the Besch and Smith Civil Group (a certified underground utility contractor). St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD) provided pumps to clear out the destructive waters from Hurricane Nicole. Crews are building back the dunes at the end of the roadway at Bay Drive Park.

“Some sand washed in, and we are reinforcing the dunes in that area,” Alkhatib said. “Crews are going to assess whether those pumps can be moved to help with flooding in other areas to assist our residents.”

The goal is to relieve the water level on the Intracoastal Waterway from the numerous dune breaches around Marineland Acres and Washington Oaks and allow the waters that breached the dunes to recede from the respective communities.

“A special thanks also to Flagler County and SJWMD for jumping into action early assisting with Emergency Management coordination, and ultimately securing the last three pumps that SJWMD had available (along with plenty of pump hoses and accessories) providing the means to make this all happen and help these desperate communities,” said Consor Project Manager Charles Woerner. “It was definitely noticed and appreciated by all the communities. We really do make a great team and it felt good when it all came together like it did.”