FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – South Florida received a glancing blow from Hurricane Sandy but she still left a mess behind — especially along A1A in Fort Lauderdale.
The sound of heavy construction rang throughout a 4-block stretch north of Sunrise Boulevard as dozens of city parks workers toiled from morning to night clearing sand from the road.
Sandy produced enormous waves that crashed over a seawall at high tide, washing out the road and forcing city officials to shut it down.
A group in town for a beach wedding on Saturday enjoyed watching the show.
“It’s fun,” said Liz Rackl. “We have front row seats.”
City Parks Supervisor Mark Almy says on a work scale of 1 to 10, this job was off the charts.
“This is an 11 on a 10,” Almy told CBS 4’s Carey Codd. “It’s more than that. I’ve never seen it go up the side roads.”
People who have lived here for decades say they’ve never seen flooding and sand piles this bad on A1A and many haven’t seen this type of cleanup effort either.
“We saw (the workers) this morning when we had to go to do errands and they’re still out here,” said Heidi Krempa. “I can’t believe how much work they’re getting done.”
The water on the road proved a major inconvenience for Dr. Richard Blanchao, as his car got stuck.
“I’ve lived here 24 years,” he said. “This is about the worst I’ve seen it.”
Some took advantage to play and have fun with their kids or their dogs. Others — like surfers jumped at the chance to ride some large waves rarely seen in Florida.
However, Sandy earned their respect.
“Mother Nature can be pretty cruel,” said Ian Halliday. “You learn to respect the ocean when you get out there that’s for sure.”
High tide is expected again in the morning and it’s likely the stretch of A1A will flood again. City workers expect to be back on the job at 9 am. They might have to clear the sand and water for a third time but they say they’ll do what they have to finally reopen this road.