Cocoa Beach Pier prepares for Hurricane Irma

- It's been just over a month since the Cocoa Beach Pier was repaired after storm damage, and now it's going to be under another test as pier officials and locals prepare for Irma.

"This is not a storm anybody wants to ride out."

The Chief Operating Officer of Westgate Resorts, which owns the pier, says like everyone beachside, they're getting ready for Irma.

"We're going to board up the pier up and do all the right things, but it's really irrelevant because if we get 100+ mile an hour winds, 120-plus mile an hour winds, I don't know that there is much you can do to protect things like the pier," says Mark Waltrip.

And he's not alone. The wind is a big concern for people on the coast.

"It's the most bizarre thing. You don't have any clue what's going to happen. What the wind is going to do, so I think that's what we have to worry about, is the wind," says Cocoa resident Brucie Baker.

She's been placing storm shutters on her 90 year old home since Tuesday. She lives feet from the water and although she's survived a Category 5 hurricane before, Baker says she's still afraid.

"It's very difficult. I'm old, so this is not easy... I was alone in my car in the garage while I listened to the storm go by," says Baker of surviving Andrew.

For others, it's the first time facing a hurricane. Jade Gillis just moved to Cocoa two months ago from Illinois.

"We stacked everything to the ceiling. We're prepared for our house to be flooded. All the water was sold out in stores, so was flashlights. We're basically just prepared for the worst."

And if the worst does happen, Waltrip say the show must go on.

"If, God forbid, we lose the pier, we'll build it back better than ever... we're just praying that wherever it makes landfall, that it gets pushed out to the east, to the point that we don't get the severity of the wind."

Pier officials say they'll announce Thursday when they expect to close the pier.

 
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