Hurricane Florence was a very damaging storm but we have rebuilt and reopened. Our docks were completely destroyed and it was very disheartening to watch. Hurricanes are part of life here on the coast and our area is sometimes considered “hurricane ally”.
We are actually pretty lucky compared to some other places and everywhere has its hazards like California has wildfires and Hawaii has volcanoes. All we can do is prepare for the worst and hope for the best. We pulled our boats out of the water and put them on trailers. Then we took them to a yard without trees. We stripped the boats of anything that might catch wind, tied them down, and kept a close eye on them during the storm and the days of rain that followed.
After the storm we helped the neighbors with there yards and houses. Robert, one of the owners of Southport boat rentals is an excellent at tree removal and we all got together for a week to help out the community. We got trees cut down off of people’s houses and garages, out of their driveways and off of fences. It was really sad to see all of the damages from hurricane Florence but it felt good to help and see other people helping also.
Then came the time to deal with our docks and problems of our own. It was pretty bad. Everything from our floating docks to our walkways and ramps, even our staircase and sign were all in such poor shape we had to start from scratch. Good thing Robert is also an expert carpenter! We built a new frame for our deck using pilings for support. Instead of stairs like last time, we engineered a handicap accessible ramp on the parking lot side. Mcphearson marine helped us reset our old pilings that hold our dock in place and Chris Lowell built our actual floating docks right there in our parking lot and pushed them in the water at high tide. With the docks in place we measured and built new gangways (the ramp that connects floating docks to a fixed dock or bulkhead). After the gangways were in place it was time to add cleats to the dock. Chris came back and added nice new rub rails for the sides of the dock. Then we started bringing everything back. Our tent, bar, bench, and last but not least, our large Southport Boat Rental sign that has our phone number on it.
The very next day we had 2 boat rentals and the day after we went on a fishing charter. I’m just getting back from a sand dollar safari as I’m writing this and it sure does feel good to get back to work! Thanks for reading.