Damage to Folly Pier piling brings on inspection

Folly Beach pier (Eric Egan/WCIV)

By Eric Egan

FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (WCIV) -- Hurricane Irene hammered much of Folly. The pier was no exception. Now the county plans to inspect it.

Now, the Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commission says it's playing it safe by canceling two upcoming events on the Folly Beach Fishing Pier.

In the meantime, it will stay open and that's perfectly fine for the people who use it.

It opened in 1995, and ever since, the Folly pier has been an overwhelming favorite for fishermen. So, any news of it being damaged was not taken lightly.

"When they first started talking about Folly pier I thought no, nothing's wrong with our pier," said Judy Moody. "They can't close it down. We'd have nowhere to go."

Moody says she fishes off the pier three times a week and feels comfortable doing it. The day after Irene swept past the beach, one of the interior pilings on the pier appeared deteriorated.

Playing it safe, the county parks commission has canceled the final two Moonlight Mixers there. The events invite hundreds to dance on the end of the pier at the spot known as the 'Diamond.'

The decision disappointed some, it's fine with Moody.

"That would be fine because there is a crowd on the end when they have those big get-togethers. Out here there's not," she said.

Other seasoned anglers applied their own test.

"Everything seems to be alright," said Michael Pack. "I'm out here and I don't feel any quaking or shivering."

Charleston County says it will hire a structural engineering firm to inspect the walkway from end-to-end, top-to-bottom. Leaders maintain, the pier is a priority and making sure it's strong means a lot to many.

"If they can stabilize it there's a lot to be said about piers for tourists and locals who want to fish. It's a draw," David Barbour said.

The Folly Beach Pier was last inspected in 2002. The process this time could take about six months to complete.