Fears of climate change hit South Florida
Beach erosion caused damage to the stairway at the Pelican Grand Beach Resort on Fort Lauderdale’s beach.
High tides and storms created more havoc in South Florida during 2012 than many could remember in recent years, while Miami Beach and other communities began real planning for rising sea levels.
Beachgoers from Singer Island to Fort Lauderdale got a Thanksgiving shock when high tides – on the heels of Hurricane Sandy – ripped away large areas of sand. Many people said the widespread damage, including Sandy’s strike on New York, was a sign of climate change.
The worst area was a four-block stretch just north of Sunrise Boulevard, where the ocean consumed sidewalks, parking meters, palm trees and the four-lane State Road A1A was narrowed to two lanes.
During a Dec. 11 meeting, the Florida Department of Transportation said it was considering a rebuild to four lanes, but four lanes wouldn’t open for about three years.
In August, the city of Miami Beach said it was vetting a $200 million storm water plan that is one of the first in the nation to respond to sea level rise resulting from global warming.
Engineering firm CDM Smith said its plan was created to address storm water issues in Miami Beach over the next 20 years. It laid out various strategies that include New Orleans-style pumps and sea walls.
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