Residents in Flagler County worry about busy roadway during Hurricane Irma

A1A partially washed away during Hurricane Matthew

By Clay LePard - Reporter

FLAGLER BEACH, Fla. - Last-minute preparations continue all across central Florida, especially in spots where Hurricane Matthew hit last fall.

Crews did some last-minute surveying of a stretch of A1A in Flagler Beach, the same stretch Hurricane Matthew washed away back in October.

The roadway was temporarily fixed just weeks after the hurricane washed part of it away, but people along Flagler Beach haven't forgotten what happened here. In fact, many think it'll happen again.

"We're worried with what's going to happen here with A1A, and hopefully it doesn't wash out like it did last year," Greg Garvey, who flew in from Wisconsin to board up his house, said. "I've got a lot of blood and sweat into this house, so (I) want to protect it as much as I can."

"I'm sorry to say I'm expecting to see the same, and I don't know what can be done," Louis Pope, who owns a plaza along A1A, said. Pope knows his plaza has survived a lot of storms, but nothing quite like what he's seeing with the winds of Hurricane Irma.

"Irma is 185 mph - my God," he exclaimed. "Not necessarily that it would hit us at 185 mph where we are standing, but I think it's going to be over 100 mph!"

Inside the Flagler County Emergency Operations Center, area officials are already planning for severe damage to A1A. 

They anticipate dealing with even high storm surges around 10 feet, compared to 7 feet from hurricane Matthew. 

"We of course aren't sure of the path at this time, but we are sure we are going to experiencing some or all of the effects, very similar to Matthew," said Craig Coffey, county administrator. 

The county has state DOT officials and contractors already on the ground and ready for any emergency repairs to A1A as Hurricane Irma passes through.

Irma is expected to pass over or near Flagler County Sunday and into Monday. 

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