Florida’s iconic A1A is symbolic of the struggles facing Florida after being hit by Hurricane Matthew. Portions of the scenic route will be closed for several months. Some areas face massive damages while others have no or minimal property damage.
The powerful winds and rain caused the downfall of trees throughout the state. Nine people died in hurricane related deaths in Florida. Because much of Florida’s Atlantic coast is at sea level, storm surge caused huge damage and beach erosion in spite of the hurricane staying offshore.
Beach erosion and sea encroachment are major problems for lighthouses. It led to the demise of Cape St. George Lighthouse on the Gulf Coast. The Hillsboro Lighthouse on the Atlantic Coast was already suffering from beach erosion and Hillsboro Lighthouse Society was raising funds for restoration.
Florida has approximately nine lighthouses on the east coast between Miami and Amelia Island. The St. Augustine Lighthouse is currently open but the phones are down. The Amelia Island Lighthouse, Cape Canaveral Lighthouse, Hillsboro Lighthouse, Ponce de Leon Lighthouse and Cape Florida Lighthouse are open regular hours. There are no lighthouse tours currently scheduled for Jupiter Lighthouse. Check their website for updates. As for status of the two lighthouses located Naval Station Mayport, I was unable to verify anything.
The road to recovery may take a while in Florida. Still Floridians should be thankful for the lives that were spared during Hurricane Matthew.