IMPERIAL BEACH, Calif. — Randy Johnson says he was on the Imperial Beach pier last Monday shortly before a wooden piling from the pier was spotted floating in the water.
Pilings are the heavy posts that help support structures like the pier — and the raised walkway in Imperial Beach is now missing one.
“I kinda got scared because I could feel the pier pilings moving. We were going to come out here and fish, but we didn’t like the feeling,” Johnson, who spoke with FOX 5 Thursday, recalled.
The Port of San Diego, which owns and operates the pier, was notified by the City of Imperial Beach about the situation and lifeguards closed the pier Monday evening.
Officials say the broken piling floated north and the Coronado Public Works Department pulled it from the water on Tuesday. The pier will be closed for at least two weeks to make repairs.
Closing down the pier also meant closing down the Tin Fish restaurant at the end of the structure — a frustrating situation for owner Ed Kim about a dozen of his employees.
“No one saw this coming — can’t blame anybody,” Kim said. Unfortunately, it happened — it is what it is — just have to follow what the port and city is going to do.”
The port is still assessing the damage to figure out exactly how extensive of repairs are needed. That hasn’t been easy. Because of high surf this week, crews weren’t able to get in there to start the job for a couple of days.
According to the port, engineers got a better look at the damage Thursday, but it’s still unclear exactly when the pier will reopen. The port says the pier will remain closed until it is safe for the public.