It's on us. Share your news here.

Flagler Beach reviews Ian response, says dune walkovers may cost over $1 million to repair

Posted on November 2, 2022

Flagler Beach has patched up about 20 dune walkovers damaged by Tropical Storm Ian, but repairing or replacing the rest could cost more than $1 million.

The dune walkovers were among the topics discussed at a forum the city held last week about Ian’s impacts.

City Manager William Whitson praised the effort by workers and volunteers in helping the city deal with the damage caused by Ian. But some residents expressed frustration at repeated flooding in their neighborhood.

Pier won’t reopen:Flagler Beach won’t reopen pier battered by Tropical Storm Ian before planned replacement

Evacuation response:Flagler emergency manager concerned not enough residents evacuated for Tropical Storm Ian

Ian batters beaches:Flagler County beaches face ‘critical erosion’ following Tropical Storm Ian

A resident also said people living on the city’s south end could not reach the beach because Ian had wrecked the dune walkovers. He asked when the 28th Street South walkover would be repaired.

Whitson said repairs to the dune walkover could take several months.

All of the city’s 52 dune walkovers were damaged by Ian. The city repaired about 20 in-house, but it will have to re-engineer the rest and put the work out for bids, Whitson said in a phone interview.

Engineers estimated the cost to repair and replace the damaged dune walkovers could reach $1.1 million, according to an email from Whitson. He wrote the city would file a claim with FEMA and the Florida Division of Emergency Management and “see what they say.”

He wrote he was working through a schedule, but it was too early to say how long it would take to repair all the walkovers because he had to coordinate with FEMA and other agencies.

During the forum, Whitson said 186 homes in Flagler Beach had water enter either the garage and/or the living area when Ian dumped massive amounts of rain on the area. The storm also tore off a section of the Flagler Beach Pier.

Whitson said during the forum that the city deployed generators throughout to keep pumps working to prevent any sewage overflow. Wastewater utility worker Vince Mahadeo was moving the generators even in the middle of the storm.

“Incredible work and incredible courage,” Whitson said.

He said that Police Chief Matt Doughney posted more than 100 messages during the storm about its impact on the city to help keep the public informed.

The city’s sanitation supervisor, Rob Smith, said debris removal was completed on Thursday.

Flagler Strong

Tracy Callahan-Hennessey, president of Flagler Strong, a nonprofit group that began after Hurricane Matthew in 2016 and grew even more following Hurricane Irma in 2017, said volunteers were busy filling sandbags and transporting them to the homes of elderly or disabled people. They also helped clean up debris after Ian. She said more than 500 sand bags were filled.

“We just try to be as prepared as we can,” she said.

“We as a community were very fortunate this time,” she said.

But then she showed a house with piles of ruined furniture and other belongings in the driveway, saying that particular homeowner was not as lucky. She said volunteers helped clean up the debris.

She said people who were interested in volunteering could learn more about the group at

Scott Spradley, an attorney and Flagler Beach resident, showed pictures he took of flooded neighborhoods and the damaged pier using his drone.

Ryan Simpson, Flagler County’s senior emergency planner, spoke at the forum, saying more than 200 people sought shelter at two schools opened during the storm.

He said more than 30 business have applied for help from the Small Business Administration due to damage from Ian.

Though not mentioned at the forum, one of the businesses affected was High Tides at Snack Jack’s, a popular restaurant on the east side of A1A at 2805 S. Ocean Shore Blvd. in Flagler Beach. The restaurant has been closed since Ian struck, but a Facebook post on its page Thursday said it would reopen soon.

In a Facebook message, a representative of the restaurant responded that they are hoping to be open by Thanksgiving and ask that people follow them on Facebook. The message also stated that Cline Construction and others are working “around the clock” to repair the damage and the city was expediting permits.

Flagler County government counted $5.6 million in damage to its property, not including beach erosion. The damage estimate included $1.6 million to buildings and $286,000 to parks.

Simpson said that, at its worst, Ian brought tropical storm impacts to the county and that the county had been consistently lucky in avoiding hurricane-force winds. But its luck may run out some day.

”We must prepare for the real potential of a catastrophic hurricane in our future,” he said.

Repeated flooding in Flagler Beach

City officials took questions from some of the more than 50 people in attendance.  Some of those residents were frustrated about repeated flooding in their neighborhood.

Ed and Donna Schneider said they have seen their neighborhood repeatedly flooded in the 2400 and 2500 blocks of South Daytona Avenue and South Flagler Avenue. And it doesn’t take a storm like Ian; it can be just a full-moon high tide.

“Nobody’s done nothing,” Donna Schneider said.

“Just a normal full-moon high-tide cycle we can get inundated, just take a beautiful day and you’re flooded, because the water is being directly let in from the Intracoastal,” her husband, Ed Schneider, said.

He said the area is “wide open to the Intracoastal” and nothing’s been done.

Donna Schneider said the couple built a wall to stop the water from coming in from their backyard, but it didn’t do much.

“We built a wall higher than our foundation just so we wouldn’t have any problem in the back and it came around the front,” she said.

David Trudzinski, who is a neighbor, said he got about 4 inches of water in his house. He said he had recently remodeled his house before Ian. He said the city’s poor regulation in the area was responsible for the flooding.

“I think it’s the same thing we’ve been hearing for the last four years,” Trudzinski said. “We’ll try and nothing ever gets done. Same old story over and over again.”




It's on us. Share your news here.
Submit Your News Today

Join Our
Click to Subscribe