FT. LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami.com) – High wind and pounding surf will continue to plague South Florida’s shoreline on Tuesday. Monday’s high tide caused some problems on A1A along Ft. Lauderdale beach.
Sand, seaweed and water from the beach blew past the sea wall and onto the sidewalk and the northbound lanes of A1A, the worst of it just north of Sunrise Boulevard.
On Tuesday, workers continued to tons of sand to get the beach back to normal. The also re-opened some of the walkways onto the beach which were boarded up Monday to stop the water and sand from flowing out onto the street.
“This is the first time in over 50 years that I’ve seen the ocean encroach this much toward A1A,” said Tom Jones. “It’s the most severe erosion I’ve ever seen.”
“If you look down here, this is what would have prevented spending tens of thousands of dollars to clean up down here,” said Thaddeus Hamilton as he point to some nearby dunes.
Hamilton, who is with the Broward County Soil and Conservation District, said areas of the beach with dunes didn’t have sand piling up or spilling out into the street.
“All we need to do to solve the problem, pennies on the dollar, is to establish coast dunes,” said Hamilton, “Create a natural tropical beach, very simple.”
Workers spent much of Monday using shovels and small bulldozers to scoop the sand off the road and sidewalk and dump it back onto the beach. In some spots they used the sand to build improvised dunes to try and stop any more sand from blowing inland as the tide went out.
The large pounding surf has made the surf zone very dangerous and getting in the water is not advised.
In addition to the dangerous surf conditions, there is also a high risk for rip currents through late Tuesday.
A rip current is a narrow powerful current which runs perpendicular to the beach, out into the ocean. These currents may extend 200 to 2,500 feet lengthwise, but they are typically less than 30 feet wide. Rip currents can often move at more than 5 miles per hour or faster.
According to the United States Lifesaving Association, 80 percent of surf beach rescues are attributed to rip currents.
Lifeguard stands are flying red flags to warn beachgoers of the potential danger of going in the water.