Flagler County eying Tropical Storm Ian closely amid beach erosion concerns

As Florida faces a potential threat, Flagler Beach officials are keeping a close eye on the shoreline amid erosion concerns. 

City Manager William Whitson said they’re working with the county, using drones to monitor from the sky, specifically a stretch south of the pier north to about 4th Street. 

As they watch the tropics, Whitson says at this point no emergency has been declared; however, the city has sand on standby just in case.

"That way, if we need it, FDOT is on go and can move quicker," he said.

The sand would be used if A1A is threatened, hoping to avoid a repeat of 2016 when Hurricane Matthew washed away part of the road. 

"It is alarming, and I don’t want to see a replay of that movie," he said. 

Whitson is looking forward to long-term relief, though – a re-nourishment project to rebuild part of the beach. A long-awaited project that’s faced controversy and uncertainty.

"We are technically in the cone of silence, in terms of the legal process, but they assure me that it will be wrapped up in time and that the project will start next year," he said.

The city is reminding people to stay off the dunes. Whitson says all dune crossovers are open, including three damaged by erosion.