The Good and the Bad – City’s Early Damage Assessment from Beryl

On Monday, May 28, 2012,  Dave Lott on his last day as Interim City Manager, wrote the following report for staff and commissioners detailing damage on city properties.  Although written three days ago, we thought you would be interested in the recap.

Sand Engulfs Main Beach Gazebos - Photo Courtesy of City of Fernandina Beach

The Good News:

“No medical calls directly related to Beryl activities; although
Fire-Rescue & Police stayed on the go all night long dealing with downed
power fires, transformer fires, etc.

No significant street flooding or standing water on Fletcher or
First Ave. above what is normally seen after a heavy rainstorm

It could have been a lot worse; the ocean surge at the 2:00 a.m.
high tide that coincided with the height of the storm did not reach the dune

Private property damage level generally appeared to be low.  At
least 3 homes lost part of their metal roofing, large number of homes along
the beach lost shingles or tiles.  A couple had trees/branches lean on or
fall on their home or car.

City buildings went largely unscathed.

FPU crews were very responsive in killing power to lines so tree
removal or transformer fires could be safely conducted.

Beach goers are generally heeding directions by lifeguards to not
go in the water.”

The Not-So-Good News

“Major storm debris on the City roads and parks, as well as private
property yards.  Priority for the City crews that worked throughout the
night with a second group coming on this morning was to focus on public
safety in keeping roadways clear enough to permit emergency vehicle passage.
As I write this, I believe that all known trees/power poles issues have been

Since this was a localized storm event of small magnitude, there
will be no reimbursement from FEMA or State for our clean-up costs.

Pockets of power outages that were generally quickly resolved with
the exception of a large area north of Atlantic Avenue and east of 10th
Street.  That area had power out for 18-20 hours due to widespread downed
lines and transformer failures.  My understanding is that power has
generally been restored with the exception of small pockets that continue to
be addressed by FPU.

City properties heaviest hit:

Central Park:

Many sections of the windscreens on tennis courts and ball fields are
down and will have to be reattached.  Hopefully the attachment points were
not torn.

Concrete wall of a dugout at Little League field collapsed

Tree down on part of playground equipment

Other large trees down but not impacting any structure

Bosque Bello Cemetery

Dozen or so of large oaks and cedars have split or been uprooted.  One
headstone toppled, a couple of more might need re-setting.

One large double-trunked tree leaning precariously and roadway being
barricaded to keep vehicles from trying to drive underneath.

A couple of the uprooted trees will have to be carefully handled to avoid
disturbing grave site when removing.

Major debris throughout the cemetery will require a substantial clean-up
effort, mainly by manual labor

Golf Course

Lost 5-6 major trees.  Fortunately none landed on greens.

Beach Parks

Main Beach parking lot has large amounts of sand up by Sandy Bottoms.
Boardwalk has been covered by windblown sand in a number of places with
accumulations as high as 6” in some of the sun shelters.  Grassy area to the
west of the boardwalk looks like a snowfield due to windblown sand.

Some roofing damage at Seaside Park.”