Portion of Indian River Drive washes away in St. Lucie County

ST. LUCIE COUNTY, Fla. - UPDATE: Indian River Drive from Savannah Road, north, is now open for regular traffic


Two St. Lucie County Sheriff's deputies in bright yellow rain coats stood by a section of Indian River Drive where a huge hunk of the roadway collapsed south of Midway Road. Whitecaps crested on the nearby river as a heavy rain fell.

Indian River Drive is closed between Walton and Midway roads Thursday after rain caused erosion to the river side along the roadway, a St. Lucie County sheriff's spokesman said.

The most serious portion of erosion is an about 80 foot stretch in the 6200 block of Indian River Drive, said Lt. Adam Goodner, sheriff's spokesman.

Just north of the road collapse is the home of Celeste and John Verstraaten in the 6600 block of South Indian River Drive.

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"Not during (hurricanes) Jeanne, Frances or Wilma have we ever had water like this," Celeste Verstraaten said. "I don't believe there was water this severe."

John Verstraaten suggested that drainage improvements be made.

"They should big drainage canals in here, like they do in Europe," he said.

The Verstraatens said the roadway damage won't have a huge impact on them. Midway Road, which provides access to U.S. 1, isn't a long drive to the north.

"We're not going to go south," Celeste Verstraaten said as power flickered to their home.

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