IRMA: Hurricane-damaged Flagler Beach Pier closed for repairs

By Brittany Jones, Reporter
Last Updated: Monday, September 25, 2017, 6:38 PM EDT

The Flagler Beach Pier has closed again and in need of more temporary repairs after damaged by Hurricane Irma.

  • Flagler Beach Pier closed for repairs
  • Hurricane Irma caused damage to pilings, beams
  • Repairs could cost an additional $300,000

Charles Moorer frequents the pier a couple of times a week to fish.

"When I come to the pier to fish, it's really not about catching fish,” said Moorer. “It's really therapeutic."

When Moorer showed up to the pier, he thought from the surface it looked OK.

However, a closed sign was on the pier’s gate.

"I was a little disappointed," he said.

Divers inspected the pier after Hurricane Irma and found things had shifted and broken.

"The frustrating thing is that we felt like we were getting right back to normalcy and we were almost there," city manager Larry Newsom said.

Newsom said the damage is to the pilings, beams, and bolts underneath the pier that the naked eye can't see.

"Everything looked intact from where we were standing, but when I went on it right after the storm you could feel it moving pretty good," Newsom said.

The city is now looking at possibly an estimated $300,000 in repairs after spending roughly $900,000 for repairs from Hurricane Matthew.

The pier reopened in June after being closed for 8 months.

The city said this time the structural damage isn't as bad as when Matthew hit but there's still work left to be done. City officials said they are still waiting on about $1.2 million in reimbursement from FEMA for last year.

Newsom doesn't have the final timeline of how long the repairs to the pier will take, but he estimates 60 to 90 days.

"All the more reason to build a concrete pier which would certainly reinforce, it would strengthen the pier," said Moorer.

Newsom said some tightening has already begun for the new temporary repairs.

Moorer is waiting to see how things shape up.

"Open the pier so I can go fishing," said Moorer.

Newsom said a structural engineer who has been working with the city will return Wednesday morning to inspect the damage. He said they'll have a better estimate on when crews can begin work on the pier.

City buildings also took a hit with roof damage and water intrusion. Officials estimate it’s nearly $3 million in damage and debris pickup from Irma.