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Florida’s Treasure Coast Recovering from Hurricane Sandy Damage

The stretch of beach known as Treasure Coast was among one of Florida’s most severely hit coastlines during Hurricane Sandy. After developing from a tropical wave in the Caribbean on October 22, the hurricane pushed north. Jamaica, Cuba, Haiti, as well as Florida, New Jersey, and New York were in her path as she swept the eastern coast of the Americas. The storm bolstered 110 mile per hour winds that caused nearly $52.4 billion worth of damages throughout the Caribbean and United States. At least 185 people have died as a result of the storm.

Government officials across several counties declared portions of the Treasure Coast emergency areas after Hurricane Sandy passed through. Indian River, Martin, St. Lucie, Brevard, St. Johns, Palm Beach, Flagler, Volusia, Broward, and Miami-Dade counties all took this precaution, among others. Sandy stuck these areas with 49 mile-per-hour winds and massive tidal waved on October 26. The battery caused by the storm decimated and badly damaged beaches and nearby structures.

The super storm damaged boardwalks, boat docks, sand dunes, and beach crosswalks, among other things, along Treasure Coast. On Wednesday, the Department of Environmental Protection gave an “emergency final order,” allowing people to begin work to repair the damages to the coast. The emergency order allows contractors and citizens of the affected areas to bypass building work and other permits that, under normal circumstances, must be issued by the state of Florida in order for any repairs to take place.

“This [order] streamlines the process,” an official spokesperson said. “We’re also helping citizens with permits so they don’t have to go to the [Department of Environmental Protection].” It is not yet known how many people will be incited to action by this provision, although repair efforts are already vastly underway by various charitable organizations.

One county official, identified as an Indian River coastal engineer, said the storm caused nearly $12 million in damages to beaches along Treasure Coast. The winds and violent waves displaced massive loads of sand that now have to be replaced to prevent further erosion and encourage tourism. Among the beaches struck were Tracking Station Park, Wabasso Beach Park, Seagrape Trail, and Golden Sands Park. Tracking Station Park was one of the most affected beaches of the storm, sustaining massive damages to catwalks and beachside dunes.

A Mosquito County Control-Coastal Management Director said St. Lucie County suffered an estimated $4.2 million worth of damages during the hurricane storm. Beaches in the county, as well as the South Hutchison Island, will need to have several thousand truckloads of sand replaced. Nearby ponds also need special repairs in order to prevent a spike in the mosquito population.

In Martin County, officials estimate that an additional 11,000 cubic yards of sand need to be replaced on Bathtub Beach. The storm’s waves decimated the sand on the beach. Officials say they are seeking government-sponsored funding to repair the beaches, which are mostly public property. Officials say an additional $6.3 million worth of damages were sustained at local marina and boat docks during the super storm, including vast amounts of damage to commercial and private vessels alike.

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