Challenge to repair pier damage by 2 hurricanes persists in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea

LAUDERDALE-BY-THE-SEA, Fla. – Lauderdale-by-the-Sea residents say their beloved pier has been closed since November of last year after two hurricanes caused damage.

Faced with complaints from residents like Reischer who are wondering why it is taking so long to make any repairs, the people who run the pier said they’re doing everything they can to finish.

“One of the reasons why we moved here was the pier and the community and something needs to be done,” Charlie Reischer said.

The pier first took a hit by Hurricane Irma in 2017. Then Hurricane Nicole destroyed the middle section last year. The repairs are still ongoing as another hurricane season is approaching.

“People miss this and we’re going to bring it back to life. One way or another we will bring it back to life,” said Spiro Marchelos, of Fisherman’s Pier, Inc., the company working with the town, the state, and the feds.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is working on surveys of the environment underneath the pier. Plans for the new structure will follow in the next few months, but the process is slow.

“We have material to start the process but in order to do the right thing, follow the rule of law, we have to follow the guidelines and that’s why we’re still here,” Marchelos said.

Since 2019, town code inspectors have issued more than $150,000 in fines.

“I will litigate them. This is mother nature, it’s ridiculous to have fines,” Marchelos said adding his hope is to begin construction next year.

In two weeks, Marchelos will have to provide the town with a rough timeline and there will be a meeting again in 90 days for an update.

About the Author:

Ian Margol joined the Local 10 News team in July 2016 as a general assignment reporter. Born in Miami Beach and raised in Broward County, Ian is thrilled to be back home in South Florida.