FLAGLER BEACH, Fla. – Louise Wagner refused to leave her condo after watching Nor’easter type weather swirl around Flagler Beach last weekend.
“Very, very windy. Blustery,” Wagner said. “I thought the strong winds were really going to impact the dunes and what the progress they had made. Pretty surprising.”
The stormy weather damaged two newly installed dune walkovers that people use to walk onto the beach. One is located between 21st and 22nd Street. The other is right on Beverly Beach by 23rd Street. Both are closed until further notice.
“It was really unreal about the wind. I mean, I felt like I was in Matthew again,” Flagler Beach City Manager Larry Newsoms said.
In 2016, Hurricane Matthew destroyed parts of A1A along with the dune walkovers. Newsom said part of the issue could be the walkovers have square posts anchoring them down rather than the six-inch round posts. He said the rest of the walkovers that are on the list to be repaired will have the round posts.
“We just went out for bid for a bunch of them. When they go in, we’re going to use round posts, not square posts because that dissipates a lot of the energy," Newsom said. “Especially down at the bottom and we’re also going to look at some reinforcement that will help. Because the ones that were before Matthew were here for a long time.”
Construction workers were out on Monday afternoon assessing the damage. Newsom said there are 54 dune access points that are open to the public and the city will fix more than 40 of them that were damaged during Hurricane Matthew.
“Seventy-five percent of that will be paid for by FEMA, 12.5 percent by the state and 12.5 by us,” he said.
Newsom said any repairs done to the two damaged in last weekend’s storm will not cost taxpayers any additional money. He plans to meet with the Florida Department of Transportation on Wednesday to discuss the damage.