Boaters Prepare for Storms

Both Tropical Storm Bonnie and Hurricane Charley are causing some concerns for boaters in our area. Most people are not too worried about storm damage, but some have decided they aren't taking any chances.

The waters look calm at Hogan's Marina on Wilmington Island, but not knowing if they'll stay that way has boaters and marina workers preparing for the worst. "It could tear the dock down, you know, destroy the whole thing if enough wind came," said boater Ennis "Buddy" Hagin. "So hopefully we can put [our boat] up in the yard and secure it."

While Hagin and a few others remove their boats from the water and prepare for the unpredictable storms that lie ahead, they feel the sooner they get their boats out of the water the better. "Well we're trying to beat the storm and take our boat off the dock and bring it around and take it out just in case," said Hagin.

One of the biggest concerns on the marina is the possibility of a storm surge during high tide, which could put the docks underwater.

"The bigger boats need to go to anchor somewhere either in a creek, which is the best place, and there's some that can't get away, they'll just have to put extra lines on them and weather it out," said the marina's Bubba Strickland.

Until then, boaters are urged to take precautions early. "As the wind looks like it will increase and the rain  [comes] down a little...more customers start pulling [boats] out, putting them on trailers, keep them from sinking at their docks," said Strickland.

More people are expected to be out at the marina toward the weekend as the storms move closer.

Reported by: Nicole Teigen, nteigen@wtoc.com