Flagler business owners dreading Dorian's impact

Local businesses along A1A in Flagler County are bracing for Hurricane Dorian.


It's been nearly three years since Hurricane Matthew slammed Flagler Beach, collapsing a stretch of A1A. Now, just a single northbound lane is open while the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) continues to repair the damage.

John Lulgjuraj's Oceanside Bar & Grill stands right on that strip, hit by hurricanes Matthew and Irma. Now he's got eyes on Dorian, and he's playing it cool.

"Everyone is scattered, trying to get prepared, which is a need -- you absolutely need to get prepared for a hurricane -- on the flip side, there's still life to live, do your due diligence," Lulgjuraj said, "just stay calm."

Lulgjuraj said people head for the hills when they hear the "H-word," adding that hurricanes are often an immediate freeze in business.

"You take a quick hit in sales, 20 to 30-percent drop, right away," he said.

Lulgjuraj was hoping Dorian wouldn't delay the road repairs.

"I'm worried it's gonna push the project back a little bit. I hope it doesn't. They've been doing a really good job trying to fix it as soon as possible," he said.

FDOT said they had removed as much equipment from the A1A work site as they could, before the storm hit. They also finished building the seawall north and south of the construction zone, and will keep an eye on the area if Dorian heads this way.

The Flagler County Sheriff's Office said they would be announcing the county's sandbag locations on Thursday.