City and police crews worked into the night to start operation clean-up in the hard-hit beach area Wednesday.
City Manager Robert Bubier, hesitating to put a price tag on Betsys damage said, Ft. Lauderdale got by a whole lot less in dollars and cents than with Cleo.
He ordered city departments to fall back into a regular schedule this morning and resume normal operations. Special crews will bolster regular outfits until the clearing up is completed.
Beach front hotel managers, hardest hit of any Ft. Lauderdale section predict at least two weeks of cleaning before they are back to normal.
Sand blown by the almost 100-mile-per-hour hurricane winds blasted A1A businesses and hotels unmercifully for at least 20 hours. Windows were broken and interiors water-logged.
The normally heavy traveled highway which edges the beach was blocked to regular traffic from Oakland Park Boulevard to the busy intersection of Las Olas Boulevard.
State and city road crews are expected to work together to remove the sand and chunks of brick that dotted the impassable highway Wednesday.
Bubier said, We wont know until the state starts working how long the route will be out of commission.
A1A could not be distinguished from the beach as clumps of sand covered the road almost directly to store and hotel fronts.
Portions of the Ft. Lauderdale section of A1A may need rebuilding but that wont be knows until crews clean up the sand.
Bubier issued an order Wednesday that individual city home-owners in Ft. Lauderdale would have to dispose of garbage and trash caused by Betsy themselves.
The city doesnt feel enough damage was caused to put the city through the expense of providing that service this year, Bubier said. We will only have regular garbage pickups.
The city spent $328,000 to clean up after Hurricane Cleo last year.
Away from the sand-blasted A1A section, streets directly behind the beach hotels and stores were clear Wednesday morning.
It seems that the hotels provided a buffer for the city, Ft. Lauderdale Police Captain Joe Mackey said.
Broken windows, twisted street signs, loose traffic signals and some water-logged homes on the famed Ft. Lauderdale island sections marked the hurricane effects away from the Ft. Lauderdale beach area.
Actually we didnt get hardly any damage to speak of, Bubier said, in comparison to Cleo.
Crews were already putting up traffic lights Wednesday and store owners were rapidly taking down shutters.
Mackey reported some homes on Mola Avenue, Hendricks Isle and parts of Broward and Las Olas Boulevard were submerged at times but the water drained off rapidly.
The high storm tide backed the New River out of its banks causing it to overflow into downtown Ft. Lauderdale a foot deep, according to Mackey. It was completely drained by Wednesday morning.
City engineer Pat Patterson and public works director Harry Hickson will report damages to Bubier this morning.
James Cronin, of the public works department said Wednesday its a credit to the information media that the area didnt suffer more damage. The papers, television, and radio prepared them well.
Cronin was part of a city staff headed by Bubier that controlled hurricane activities from the conference room of the police department. They issued news releases every hour during the storm.