Beach erosion set for discussion at Flagler Beach city meeting

Weather and tides have eroded sand dunes in Flagler Beach, according to city manager

The city commission in Flagler Beach will hold an emergency meeting Wednesday morning to discuss “severe coastal erosion” near the pier.

FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. – The city commission in Flagler Beach will hold an emergency meeting Wednesday morning to discuss “severe coastal erosion” near the pier.

There are significant drop-offs visible in the sand dunes along the stretch from 5th Street to 3rd Street on A1A in Flagler Beach. The distance from the top of the dunes to the beach is more than 6 feet in some places.

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JJ Crane and his son, John Crane, came to the beach Tuesday to surf. Both told News 6 that they have grown up visiting this area.

“I definitely noticed the dune is, like, further up. It’s usually kind of a slope,” JJ Crane said.

“There’s normally a lot of sand right here, but somehow, its disappearing — must be because of the tide or something,” John Crane said.

The tide is part of the problem. City Manager William Whitson has his theory for why erosion is so severe in recent weeks

“The most significant event that I can tie it to is the super moon that happened back in July. Ever since then, it’s been getting worse,” Whitson said. “It’s probably a combination of tidal action, super moon forces and potentially sea level rise all combining in a really bad way, in a way we’ve never seen here.”

Whitson said he will present to the city commission at Wednesday’s meeting that will hopefully end with some sort of plan to move forward.

He said his hope is that something will be done to address the erosion between now and when the beach re-nourishment and beach management takes place through the army corps of engineers next year.

News 6 has highlighted some of the problems in the past in Flagler. In February, the county looked at a long-range plan for beach re-nourishment. Since then, storms and erosion continue to cause concern.

Business owners on the beachfront tell News 6 they have noticed the change.

“Boy, that water level is a lot closer than it ever was back in the day,” said Laurie Brennan.

Laurie Brennan said she sees it from her shop, Bahama Mama’s Unique Gifts, across from A1A.

“I’d like to see some engineers that really know what they’re doing do something with the dunes and try to, you know, replenish and replace them,” Brennan said.

The city said an engineer has been out to evaluate, but more work will need to be done. Whitson hopes that with the city commission’s approval on Wednesday, he can get started on an action plan.

The city commission will meet at 9 a.m. at city hall in Flagler Beach.

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Catherine, born and raised in Central Florida, joined News 6 in April 2022.