Flagler County recovers under curfew

A curfew remained in-effect late Friday in Flagler County and nobody was allowed to cross the State Route 100 out to Flagler Beach.  Residents Warren and Linda Lindsay waited too long to get out, ahead of Hurricane Matthew.

“Well, we evacuated too late,” Linda admitted, “and there was no place to go but Alabama. So we had to stay.”

Sheriff's deputies said they were among the few who had to ride out the storm in Flagler Beach, and they have seen Hurricane Matthew’s fury.

“As you see, there's still people walking along.  As a matter of fact, there's a few people in the apartments behind us who endured the storm.  One lady said she saw the waves coming up over the dunes. She was very scared, but she stayed,” recalled Cmdr. Jim Troiano, from the Flagler Co. Sheriff's Office.

But staying is not something Troiano recommends.

“We want people to leave,” he said.  “That's the best thing to do. We have shelters with food in them, air conditioning, there's the opportunity for comfort. Contact your loved ones, bring them with you to a shelter location. Even include your pets.”

And you can see the reason everywhere you look, especially on Highway A1A, a highway hugging the Flagler Beach coast.  Hurricane Matthew's worst damage in Flagler County is that stretch of road, where it looks like a giant ice cream scoop has taken huge chunks out of the highway. The entire stretch is closed while crews can come in and replace it. The storm washed the earth out from under the road, and the whole thing simply collapsed.

“They have a crew that's coming out. There's going to be a detour set up to move traffic around once we're able to open it back up. This road will be replaced. That's up to the department of transportation. They truly have their work in front of them to do,” Cmdr. Troiano said.

The ruined street brings back memories for the Lindsays. 

“It reminds me of 2004,” Linda said, “when we had the three hurricanes come through here. This is worse, though.”

Still, they're sitting tight, making the best of things, until the power comes back on.

“Now we're going to go home and eat the ice cream in the freezer!” Linda laughed.

The Flagler County curfew is from 7 p.m. until 7 a.m. Saturday morning.  Sheriff's deputies said they do not know how long it will take to get that sunken stretch of A1A back open.