Marina Owners Survey Snow Damage At Grand Lake

Thursday, February 3rd 2011, 9:55 pm
By: News On 6

Emory Bryan, News On 6

GRAND LAKE, Oklahoma -- The snowfall caused major damage to boats and marinas at Grand Lake and the repairs will take months.

One of the best known names at the Grand Lake says there's easily $40 million of damage at the lake, to both the marinas and the boats underneath them.

2/2/2011 Related Story: Blizzard Damages Area Buildings, Boat Docks

Many of the marinas at Grand Lake collapsed under the weight of the 20 inch snowfall, trapping boats underneath them, or worse, sending them to the bottom. One of the largest marinas, Ugly John's, has 75 large boats with a marina folded over on top of them.

"There's a lot of damage at Grand Lake, more than I've ever seen," John Mullen said.

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Marina owner John Mullen said he's fortunate that none of his customer's boats were sunk.

"And they're not as damaged as I thought they would be. On my dock," Mullen said. "I saw some that the dock was just down on the water and I know there are boats sank up there."

Several marina owners said it wasn't so much the weight of the snow; it was how it would blow to one side and make the supports buckle.

Jerry Cookson of Cedar Port said they were able to prevent some damage by shoveling the roof.

"There was so much snow it was incredible and the wind would blow it from one side the other and make it tilt and you really had to pay attention and get guys up there and there's no easy way, just lots of work and a shovel," he said.

Some marina owners went in by helicopter to survey the damage and said just about everyone has some damage, with the older docks generally faring the worst.

Insurance adjusters and repair shops are gearing up for what will months to repair, with the only upside that it's before the boating season begins.

"Canvas, rails, windshields etc, you can run a hefty ticket up pretty quick, it can be several thousand dollars per boat," Chris Byrd said.

The challenge for these marina owners is to demolish the marina without causing more damage to the boats.