IRMA: Flagler Beach Pier prepares, 1 year after Matthew

By Brittany Jones, Flagler County Reporter
Last Updated: Saturday, September 09, 2017, 3:06 AM EDT

The Flagler Beach Pier is closed until further notice because of Hurricane Irma. Businesses, residents and the city are boarding up buildings and homes and hoping the pier can also survive the storm.

It's only been 11 months since Hurricane Matthew and now the Flagler beach pier is facing yet another major hurricane.

Beachgoer Erin Prior stopped by to snap some pictures before the storm hits.

"I think a lot of people are really concerned about it, because we lost already a lot of feet off of it after Matthew. It took Flagler so long to rebuild, a lot of places are still like rebuilding, and now there's another storm," said Prior.

Weather experts said there is a storm surge threat once again.

Last October, the pier lost 160 feet to Hurricane Matthew.

Roughly $900,000 in temporary repairs were just completed on the pier back in the end of June.

As Flagler Beach is still recovering, the city manager remains positive. 

"They did a lot of work on this thing, they've added a lot of bands with extra aluminum and steel on the pier. I'm hoping we'll keep what we got. We may have some board displaced but maybe we won't lose any of the pilings this time and the deck," said city manager Larry Newsom.

But others are hoping their "gem" in Flagler Beach that once stood more than 800 feet won't get chopped even shorter than it is now.

"We're all hoping for no damage, that would be, like, best case scenario. It's hard to say that now with watching the weather, it's hard to say that there will be nothing that happens, so we're definitely hoping for the best," said Prior.

The city is still working with FEMA on a permanent plan for the pier, which will cost several million to replace or to build another pier.