Flagler Beach pier, damaged by Tropical Storm Ian, may remain closed

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Flagler Beach Town Manager William Whitson said he would recommend to the City Commission that the iconic wooden pier remains closed after an engineer discovered the structure was unsafe in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Ian.

The city had already planned to demolish the pier next year and replace it with a concrete pier. If the authorities agree to keep it closed, the city will be without a wharf until the new one is built next year.

Ian, which was a tropical storm when it hit Flagler Beach, pounded the pier, destroying a 120-foot section at the end, according to a letter dated Friday from Mott MacDonald Florida Engineering Company of Jacksonville in Whitson.

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The engineer also recommended people stay away from the damaged end of the pier.

Video showed a section of the pier floating south along the coast after Ian tore up the section.

Whitson said Friday he would recommend to the city commission that the pier remain closed for safety reasons.

“It’s sad. I’m not happy about it,” Whitson said in a phone interview. “But it’s one of those things that can’t be avoided.”

He said the pier would be on the agenda for the city commission’s next meeting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at City Hall.

The city also plans to hold a hurricane information forum for residents on Wednesday.

Ian damaged other batteries in the area. The storm ripped more than 200 feet from the Sunglow pier in Daytona Beach Shores, which has been shortened over the years by storms and hurricanes.

The Flagler Beach pier has also taken a beating over the years.

Hurricane Matthew brought down a 160-foot section of the pier in 2016. It cost the city $917,917 to repair the pier, which was closed for more than eight months.

Then came Hurricane Irma in 2017, which again caused damage.

And now Ian has apparently finished the pier.

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Tropical Storm Ian: Long-suffering Flagler Pier loses another piece

Six years after Hurricane Matthew ripped 160 feet off the end of Flagler Pier, another chunk was swept away Thursday under the crashing waves of Tropical Storm Ian.

Jim Tiller, The Daytona Beach News-Journal

Pier dangerous for occupation

Mott MacDonald Florida’s letter, which was signed by engineer Chad Lyner, details numerous security issues.

Ian destroyed about 120ft at the east end of the pier and the engineer recommended that the city flag the pier as unsafe for occupancy and also keep it ‘closed to public access and use “.

Ian traveled 3 to 7 feet of sand “across the full width and length of the pier resulting in a significant reduction in pile embedment below the sand line”, the letter states.

The letter stated that “deteriorated wooden piles are now exposed between the ends of the fiberglass reinforcement sheaths and the sand line”.

Mott MacDonald engineers also recommended the city restrict public activities and sports in the waters around the battered east end of the pier, according to the letter.

The restriction should be in place until a contractor can be hired to remove the unsupported pier section and stabilize the end of the pier, the letter says.

Whitson said there were loose wires and planks at the battered end of the pier. He said a sonar scan also found additional debris underwater.

“We will encourage the public to stay away from this area,” Whitson said.

Whitson said meetings and workshops will be held to discuss the new concrete pier.

While the pier is closed, the Funky Pelican restaurant in the A-shaped building at the foot of the pier remains open.

Brian Nartowicz, general manager of the Funky Pelican, which leases space in the city’s A-frame, said it was low season right now so he had a better idea of ​​the impact of the closure. from the pier on the restaurant in December.

He said the Funky Pelican would stay open.

He added that the city is installing a new pad for the restaurant’s Dumpster. There is yellow tape and construction equipment around the restaurant.

“We’re definitely still open here at Funky Pelican even though it doesn’t look like it,” Nartowicz said.

Hurricane Information Forum

The pier will be among the topics at a hurricane information forum hosted by Flagler Beach officials from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday at Father O’Flaherty Parish Hall at Santa Maria Del Mar Catholic Church, 915 N. Central Ave., according to a press release from Katie Dockhorn, assistant city manager.

From 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., Flagler Beach and Flagler Strong city departments will have information tables for residents to check in and ask questions. The official schedule begins at 7 p.m., the statement said.

Attendees will include Whitson and Flagler County Emergency Management Director Jonathan Lord.