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Flagler Beach Pier Cleared for July 4 Fireworks, Which Will Go Off Even If Burn Ban Persists

| May 24, 2017

It takes a few tons to pull off a 1,000-fireworks display off the Flagler Beach pier. (c FlaglerLive)

It takes a few tons to pull off a 1,000-fireworks display off the Flagler Beach pier. (c FlaglerLive)

Flagler Beach and its throngs of July 4 celebrants have at least two reasons to cheer already: engineers working on the pier’s post-hurricane repairs on Tuesday cleared it for the Independence Day fireworks show, and today, Fire Chief Don Petito said the show will go on even if a countywide burn ban is still in effect then.

“The good news is, we actually received the OK that the design we have does not have to be modified from a structural standpoint to accommodate our 4th of July show,” Flagler Beach City Manager Larry Newsom said. “So in essence, hopefully in the middle of a burn ban, we don’t have anything else that’s going to impact our 4th of July show as far as being on the pier.”

The pier had to be certified to assure city officials that the considerable weight of fireworks, the vehicle used to ferry the fireworks, and the Fireworks by Santore technicians themselves, working at the edge of the pier, was all safe.

Mott MacDonald, the engineering firm working with the city on the pier repair, certified all that in a letter to Newsom on Tuesday. “At the time of the firework event, the temporary pier repairs are scheduled to be completed with the pier back open for public access,” Senior Project Engineer Chad Lyner wrote the city manager. “However due to public safety, it is Mott MacDonald’s understanding the entire pier will be closed to public access during the fireworks display.”

The city awaits its favorite day. (c FlaglerLive)

The city awaits its favorite day. (c FlaglerLive)

The 18-minute show by Fireworks by Santore will feature almost 1,000 individual fireworks, according to an outline the company submitted to the engineering firm, weighing, in racks, no less than 7,500 pounds. The fireworks will be transported to their emplacements by a 2,700-pound John Deere Gator, an all-terrain vehicle.

“So we’re good to go there, that’s good news,” Newsom said.

A rendering of the pier and the fallout zone of the fireworks shows that the zone stretches over an 840-foot radius from the edge of the pier, which lost a considerable portion of its eastern end because of the storm. The fallout zone barely touches shore.

Petito sees no issues with the fireworks show. “I believe that it’ll be all right with the rain we’re getting now for them to light off the fireworks, because Number one, it’ll be fired off at the end of the pier, and it’ll be going off into the ocean.” Petito said the danger occurs with random and illegal fireworks going off where over land and forest wildfires can be triggered.

During the 2011 fire season, the most severe for Flagler since then, a burn ban was in effect and, for a time, was going to apply even to the July 4 fireworks. That set off a public outcry, and the fireworks show was restored.

“Six years ago,” Petito said, “we were in a situation where we had multiple fires working at the same time and a lot of overtime crews working.” That’s not the case this year, he said. Fires have raged in surrounding counties, but while Flagler has had its share, the fires have been relatively manageable, and the area has been spared in the past several weeks.

So even if the burn ban is still in place by July 4, Petito said the fireworks won’t be stopped.

The pier’s work, meanwhile, is continuing, and is set to be done with an opening likely by June 1.

The lights, waterlines an sinks will all be pout back up, along with the benches, so when the pier is opened, the contractors will no longer be on the pier. “I don;t want to have it open just from the structural standpoint,” Newsom said. “Even though it’s shorter it’ll be just like the pier that was there before Hurricane Matthew.”

He added, “Now we can start looking at the future when it comes to a brand new pier.”

The Pier’s Fireworks Bill of Health.

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3 Responses for “Flagler Beach Pier Cleared for July 4 Fireworks, Which Will Go Off Even If Burn Ban Persists”

  1. Sw says:

    Launching them over the Ocean, what could go wrong

  2. Lazaruis says:

    “Look forward for a new pier .”
    What a joke .

  3. Cindy Hakanen says:

    I am looking forward to the show as I have for the last 14 years! I absolutely love Santore fireworks! It really makes a great night at the beach!!

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