Anglers were catching more rays from the sun than fish from the ocean Friday at the Flagler Beach Pier but they were just happy to be there.
FLAGLER BEACH — Anglers were catching more rays from the sun than fish from the ocean at the Flagler Beach Pier on Friday, but they were just happy to be there.
The seaside city's iconic pier reopened at 6 a.m. after inspectors found no significant damage as a result of Hurricane Dorian.
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"They didn't find anything that would warrant closure," said City Manager Larry Newsom. "They did find some bolts that need to be tightened, but that is something we should be doing annually."
Meanwhile, the Daytona Beach Pier on Main Street remains closed indefinitely following the damage inflicted by Dorian.
Anglers, as well as patrons and employees of Joe's Crab Shack, are awaiting word on when it will reopen.
Daytona Beach officials have not said how long it will take to repair the damage to the eastern-most section of the pier. City spokeswoman Susan Cerbone said the damage was done to the pier's "cross bracing and decking."
The Sunglow Pier in Daytona Beach Shores, by comparison, was not damaged and remains open.
Joanne Magley, a Volusia County spokeswoman, said the county-managed walkovers at Ocean Walk, Fifth Avenue and 20th Avenue also are closed due to erosion, but will most likely reopen by Monday.
The jetty connector at Lighthouse Point Park in Ponce Inlet requires more extensive repairs and will remain closed indefinitely, Magley said.
That the Flagler Beach Pier was able to be reopened so soon was a big relief for Steve Williams, who said he visits the pier "five or six days a week."
Williams said he wasn't getting much action Friday "but at least the pier's standing." As far as the fishing goes, he said things should settle down over the next three to four days "and then the fish will be hitting pretty good."
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Like many Floridians, Williams was concerned about Hurricane Dorian's intensity and worried about family and friends during the storm.
"It was hard. I prayed for everyone but I prayed for the pier, too, funny as that sounds," he said. "We love fishing out here. We feel blessed that we got spared."
Newsom said that feeling of relief is widespread throughout Flagler Beach, especially where the pier is concerned.
"When we couldn't open it right away after Matthew and Irma, there were a lot of concerns," he said. "The pier is iconic to Flagler County, not just Flagler Beach, and (reopening) shows we are getting back to business."
Jessie Butler, 80, regularly goes fishing on all of the region's piers — from Melbourne to Flagler Beach. On Friday, he didn't mind that Daytona's pier was closed off because he wanted to stay out of the mid-day sun. He was satisfied sitting in the shade underneath the Joe's Crab Shack overhang with his two fishing rods.
Earlier this week, Butler had bigger worries on his mind than his favorite local fishing spots. The storm had just demolished a series of islands and was headed for Florida's beaches.
"I worried about the storm. I wasn't thinking about no pier," Butler said. "If that storm had hit us like (the Bahamas), there would've been nothing standing."
Ray Barshay, owner of the Funky Pelican restaurant at the pier, was eating breakfast with his son Alex and said the pier is important to residents.
"It's part of the engine of the town," he said. "It brings people to the town and family and friends and visitors over."
Barshay said like many business owners in the area, closing for the hurricane was a financial burden.
"It crunched a lot of business for everybody in town," he said. "We ended up closing longer than other kinds of businesses because we wanted to make sure our employees were all safe."
Newsom said Flagler Beach will hire a diver to check the end of the pier for scouring but characterized it as "a routine check." He said residents are eager to get back out on the pier.
[READ ALSO: Hurricane Dorian's bill for Volusia, Flagler: $200,000 in property damage]
He said it was important to get the pier reopened not only because it offers a sense of normalcy for residents, but because of its popularity.
"You have a lot of retired people here and they like to spend their mornings and their afternoons on the pier fishing," he said.
Another concern for Flagler Beach residents was the condition of State Road A1A. With ongoing repairs following damage caused by Hurricane Matthew, there were fears that Dorian might undo the progress so far. But Newsom said that does not appear to be the case.
"I didn't see anything that compromised the roadway," he said.
Newsom said he accompanied the county engineer and the city's police and fire chiefs to meet with a representative from the Army Corps of Engineers to check out the dunes along the roadway.
"We went out and drove A1A from end to end," he said.
Newsom said he's not sure how the storm might affect the timetable for completion of the work, saying that's between the contractor and Florida Department of Transportation officials.
With Dorian gone, Newsom said residents should continue to be prepared for more severe weather.
"We're not out of the woods yet," he said. "Hurricane season has a long way to go."
— Staff Writer Tny Holt contributed to this story.