Saturday October 29th 2016
The humidity has returned along with seasonal normal temperatures in the 80s. The good thing is that it goes down into the 60s over night. Today started out hazy, maybe even foggy, but cleared off quickly about the time I dragged myself out of bed.
I went for a drive to check out the area and the storm damage. The area around the campground is probably 10 miles inland from the coast. If you look closely you can find evidence of damage. Most often this is in the form of a pile of debris waiting to be taken away. Occasionally you can spot a big old tree down in open area like a front yard. In general this area isn’t in bad shape.
As you get closer to the coast more damage starts to appear. In addition to even bigger piles of debris, billboards and signs show damage. The billboards that are higher than the tree tops were subject to very high winds. Some are half gone others are completely gone. The ones protected by the trees didn’t get visibly damaged.
Other types of signs show damage as well. Lots of street signs are twisted. They no longer face the correct direction for drivers to follow. The signs for stores and restaurants also took some damage. One McDonald’s sign had holes punched through the middle of the red plastic and the golden arches above sign weren’t complete arches anymore.
In St. Augustine Beach there was sand where it didn’t belong. In some areas the sides of the streets have banks of sand. It almost looks like snow piled up after a snow storm. I know they don’t have plows so it probably got there by traveling cars over time. The parking lot for the fishing pier still had areas with 3 to 6 inches of sand over the paving. It’s not enough to get stuck but it made for interesting driving and parking.
Out on the beach you could see where the sand came from. The further toward the water you walked the less visible sand you encounter. Pebbles and broken seashells are the predominant surface. The tide was out when I was there, but even at high tide it looks like some of the rough surface will still be visible.
At the edge of the beach a great deal of damage can be seen. Signs and sign posts are completely broken off. Fences are broken down or have totally missing rails. Piles of debris are here as well. A great deal of clean up has happened, but the debris has yet to be carted away. I passed several huge dump trucks full of storm debris on the way to whatever magic disposal site they are using.
I didn’t look much south of the St Augustine Beach pier. This area has residential property closer to the beach so more damage probably occurred. I’m not really looking to see a disaster area. I’m more interested in seeing evidence of the storms force than property damage.