Volusia business owners scramble to clean before big events come to town – WKMG News 6 & ClickOrlando

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – Central Florida’s coast was rocked by Hurricane Ian, and ocean-front businesses are now left with major damage to clean up just a week before the 30th Annual Biketoberfest is slated to come to town.

“We have the dive team here looking at the pilings, engineers are here to start looking and assessing everything,” said Alex Barshay, the director of operations for Sunglow Pier.

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The pier in Daytona Beach Shores was one of many businesses along A1A in Volusia County that couldn’t take the strength of Ian.

The pier in Daytona Beach Shores was one of many businesses along A1A in Volusia County that couldn’t take the strength of Ian. (Copyright 2022 by WKMG ClickOrlando – All rights reserved.)

“We probably lost 180-200 feet of pier,” Barshay said.

Barshay said the pier’s been damaged in storms before since it opened in the 1960s, but he called this devastating.

“We’ve endured some 20, 60, 100-foot losses towards the end of the pier but never all the way up to the building, near up to the bulkhead. Those are some pretty big losses,” he said.

Barshay said there’s no telling when they could reopen, something many other business owners can relate to.

“The extent of the damage is really being assessed at this current stage, but this is one of the worst hurricanes we’ve seen,” said Jonathan Abrahams, owner of The Plaza Hotel in Daytona Beach.

Abrahams said the first two floors of his hotel were completely flooded.

“On top of that, the mixture of the rain and the flood water, the salt water, infiltrated about 160, 170 of our guest rooms,” he said.

With Biketoberfest slated to start next week, which typically brings over 100,000 people to Volusia county, hoteliers are feeling the pressure to make repairs quickly.

“Most hotels are closed right now, working diligently with their staff to get the water out of the rooms, air purify them, make them clean for the guests,” said Bob Davis, President of Volusia’s Lodging and Hospitality Association.

Davis also estimated three-quarters of the county’s ocean-front hotels lost their seawalls, too.

“A lot of hotels will be down a quarter to a third of their room capacities for the next couple weeks but that doesn’t mean we’re going to be closed,” he said.

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