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St. Augustine mother credits road workers for saving daughter's wedding

Family scrambled to figure out how to get over 100 people through a storm, past a road that was closed and to the wedding. Then some people came to the rescue.

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. — A tropical storm could not stop the "I do's" from happening in St. Augustine.

A wedding was saved and a St. Augustine mother credits the Florida Department of Transportation for saving it after the road to the venue on A1A got washed out by Nicole.

"I didn't think the wedding was going to be able to happen," said Susan Hatcher, mother of the bride.

The happy couple is Lauren and Drew Hoffman, but Lauren's mother, Hatcher, says they were pretty close to being an unhappy couple. 

"They were not letting people down here on the 10th because the road was caved in," Hatcher said.

The wedding was November 11.

"It was just like a gut punch to the stomach when I saw that the road was closed," said Hatcher.

Hatcher and her family began to scramble to try to figure out how to get over 100 guests and vendors through a storm, past a road that was closed and to the wedding venue. Then some people came to the rescue.

"I couldn't believe they could fix the road overnight but they did!" Hatcher said.

Hatcher was so grateful that she sent a thank you note to FDOT, writing they saved the day. FDOT Spokesperson Hampton Ray says it made their day in what's often a thankless job.

"We're often pointed at for congestion on the roadway," Ray said. "I think this is the first thank you card that we've ever received, at least in this region for the time that I've been here"

Ray says workers got temporary repairs up within eight hours of Nicole making landfall.

"When this many people left their own families in the middle of a storm, I mean, that's commendable, to work all night," Hatcher said.

Hatcher's words of thanks went far and her daughter was married, she says, thanks to the workers.

"They definitely saved the day," she said.

Ray says workers are now doing the permanent repairs to the road. He says it's a $1.5 million project they're trying to get finished before Thanksgiving.

That being said, they have a 10-day contract so construction could lead into Thanksgiving, but Ray says the goal is to get it done before that.

"We want to make sure, again, that the whole roadway is as safe and durable as possible," Ray said. "So that when we have a storm event again, hopefully the roadway is going to stick with us. And so we'll switch traffic and then the the west side of the roadway is going to be resurfaced, completely redone again."

Read more about Nicole's damage near this area of A1A here.

The road to their wedding washed out the day before - a St. Augustine mom credits road workers for saving the day This...

Posted by Renata Di Gregorio News on Monday, November 21, 2022


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