Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Flagler Beach-Recovering from Matthew

Friday – Saturday                                                                                            Most Recent Posts:
November 25-26, 2016                                                                            Thanksgiving at the Beach
Gamble Rogers State Recreation Area                                       My Favorite Ocean Front Spot – Gamble Rogers
Flagler Beach, Florida



It’s another beautiful sunrise over the Atlantic this morning and a few of us are out to enjoy it.




My regular pals are here.







And a new fisherwoman is catching bait.









Falgler oct 8a

This morning I decide to walk the 3.2 miles up the beach to the Farmer’s Market in the center of town. I talked about the market in my last post, the blue link above, so I’m not going to talk about the market this time but about what I saw of the hurricane damage on my walk.

Flagler Beach was hit hard by Hurricane Matthew in early October as these pictures from local and state news organizations show.


These are pictures of highway A1A that goes right by the park.  The picture on the left shows damage  just down from the Island Grille where we had Thanksgiving Dinner.




This is of another spot between the town and Gamble Rogers.

Flagler Oct 8


You can see the Flagler pier in this picture.  The damage went quite a long way down the road and it was closed for over a month.  Actually I think the county or state or whoever is responsible for these repairs in what I consider to be a very short period of time, deserves a huge amount of credit.


Flagler Oct8b


We noticed damage and repairs under way on our bike ride yesterday to and from the buffet.  But that was from the view from the street.

Today I walk so I can see the situation from the water side.   Flagler Beach is a lovely wide beach and beyond the state park it is lined on one side by the water and on the other by A1A and the nice mix of homes and businesses that face the road.  I can see them all as I walk along on the sloping sand.




I hope it is clear from this picture how much erosion was created by the sea.  Many of the stairs down to the water were washed completely out.  Those that remain are undermined in many cases.






An amazing amount of restoration work has already been done in the 7 weeks since the storm but there is still work going on.   This picture makes the house look like it is right on the edge of the dune but it really isn’t.  The highway is between the sand and the house but barely.  I’m not sure what they will do to save A1A after the next storm or two.  There just isn’t much land between the sand and the houses.  And of course with sea levels rising the situation is only becoming more severe.




This appears to be the current plan.   The road is now lined on the water side for several miles with giant boulders that we think are granite.



Still working on getting all the boulders in place.



Not sure why they aren’t using the local coquina which enabled the fort in St. Augustine to withstand canon balls, but perhaps it would be too difficult.   The pieces of it I find as I walk are a bit small for this purpose but they litter the beach and are individually beautiful.







All different shades, all beautiful.  I really wanted to bring this first one home.  Looks like a cave to me.










I was so happy to see that my favorite house on the walk to town wasn’t damaged.




I’d love to meet the owners of this house.  “Yo-Ho-Ho, A Pirate’s Life For Me”



The lack of steps isn’t stopping folks from accessing the beach.  Rock climbing any one?


As you could see from the newspaper photos, the road was seriously damaged and in this spot, they had to build what sort of looks like a bridge under the land.



The famous Flagler Beach Pier is closed for now.  It wasn’t destroyed but it was damaged and shortened.




As I near the pier, I take some redone steps up to the concrete boardwalk.  Perhaps they tired of replacing the wooden one.



The fishermen may be disappointed at the pier being closed but all around it in the water, the surfers were in the water.





Other folks were swimming and playing.  Flagler Beach isn’t fully recovered but it’s come a long way in a short time.   Well done I say!





Hope you aren’t getting sick of sunrises because on Saturday I had the joy of experiencing the most beautiful sunrise of any day in the two weeks we were here.  Yes I did see them all.  This one was fantatic.  Wish I could show all the pictures I took with the subtle nuances in the sky and water but here are a few.

First the dawn color which was really the show.  It occurs about 30 minutes before sunrise give or take.










The closer it gets to sunrise, the lighter the colors become and the more the clouds try to push them down to the horizon line.




Off to the north, the colors are pinks not oranges and the clouds lighter not dark.



Friends are out to share the sunrise with me. 







Here it comes, fighting its way through the clouds at the horizon that look like little mountains.







Shortly it becomes a big blaze in the sky, the clouds and the sky lighten up as I look down the long uninhabited beach.




David misses the show but comes out later for a walk.  We happen upon a group containing Terns this morning.  They always make me laugh.  Not sure what is so funny about them but they are to me.








We walk south today down past the water tower to Northern Peninsula State Park.  The beach south of Gamble Rogers has only a small section of condos around the water tower area before the next protected state park beach begins.  It’s really very nice.  You can walk for miles without overwhelming commercial development.



We spend another day on the ocean front.  Weather says the winds are going to be difficult for the end of our stay here.  So we’re enjoying the relative calm and the waves while we can.



What to do when it’s too windy to sit on the beach or to kayak?  That’s our challenge.  Coming up next.


  1. Your sunrise photos are beautiful, and I think I like them the best of this particular blog. As for the damage to the beach and to homes, I have mixed emotions about trying to maintain homes so close to the water, when we know the seas are continuing to rise and there are no doubt worse storms to come in the future. I certainly wouldn't want to sink my money into beachfront property.

  2. Wow, what a fabulous sunrise! So wonderful to be able to just go out your door and see this every morning. That one in particular was a beauty. I expect they have already taken all the available coquina in years past for forts and repairs after previous hurricanes. Those royal terns make me laugh because they remind me of Groucho Marx with the hair but without the cigar.

  3. Love the sunrise pictures as always. We do get some lovely ones here in our park, but over the mountains to our east. The sunsets can be absolutely gorgeous here even though there is a small mountain range to our west. George and I need to get over to the beach some evening and watch the sunset again.

  4. I could hear the birds and smell the air with those last sunrise photos. I was always amazed at the damage the hurricanes would do to our favorite little beach at St Pete when Bel and I went there, and even more amazed at how quickly the beaches would heal. Usually in a year or two, but then again there wasn't that much structural stuff that was damaged, just the beach itself. The soft white sand got all messed up for a time, and then eventually it was as luscious as ever.

  5. I will never tire of your sunrise photos. Keep em comin. It's terrible to see Mathew's damage but I fail to see the logic of rebuilding in the same place, again and again and again. Time to reconsider.

  6. You can tell just what type beach people we are by the lack of blogging about the beach:) We ride our bikes by the beach or walk along a section if we go for our walk, but other than that we don't get real excited. I guess rocks and mountains do more for us:) Glad you are sharing sunrise (we'll never see one) and sunset (we've seen one in our nine days here) photos so we can enjoy them, also:) Sounds like you are having a wonderful time taking in all the oceans beauty. Wow! That is major damage from the storm.

  7. Having lived right on the beach in NJ for 11 years saw us experiencing the power of the wind and seas that were amazing. Got stranded a couple of times, too. We'll never forget the Perfect Storm, for sure!

  8. Those sunrise photos are wonderful.
    We sure don't miss living in FL and dealing with the aftermath of hurricanes.

  9. Thanks for the info on restoration at Flagler Beach. Amazing that they repaired the road that quickly. Those Royal Terns always remind me of Groucho Marx...they make me smile too;o)) BEAUTIFUL sunrise photos!!!

  10. It really shows you the power of nature, seeing what that storm could do.

  11. Given the strength of those hurricane waves it isn't surprising there was that much damage. It is only sand after all. Not sure why they've waited so long to rock that stretch of unprotected road, but good to see they're doing it now. It looks like the pirate house owner may have been home the time of your pic :-) A very magical sunrise with such beautiful changes as he rises. I especially like the glowing surf in the one just after the clouds push down to the horizon. Warm beaches look wonderful from our cold and gloomy spot in Tennessee.

  12. Wow! A lot of destruction from a powerful storm. The sunrise pictures are truly gorgeous. Such beautiful colors, clouds and water.


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