GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Hurricane Nate's winds and tidal surge stormed into Gulfport Harbor where a mandatory boat evacuation was ordered.The marina, which was fortified after Hurricane Katrina, appears to have survived the worst of the hurricane.
Debris is being cleaned up at the Gulport Marina in the city's harbor. Considering the fury of Hurricane Nate, the marina fared quite well. Concrete pilings and other structural improvements made to the marina when it was rebuilt after Katrina seem to be well worth the expense.
"There is not a single board missing in this entire marina. We had a new pier built down near the fuel dock. It survived. The only thing we are doing right now is taking power centers apart and flushing them out with water and letting it dry before we re-energize it," said Harbormaster George Manemann.
Manemann did issue a mandatory boat evacuation order on Friday.The question at all harbors and marinas on the coast is how many boat owners complied?
"I'm going to say that two thirds did what was under the mandatory evacuation order in accordance with our hurricane plan. About a third stayed because of engine problems. Some could not get into town, and others just made plans based on what they thought what was best for them," according to Manemann.
Boat owners are encouraged to start returning to the Gulfport Marina.The harbormaster expects the electrical system to be up and running Tuesday.
Meanwhile, missing boards and some structural damage is evident at Urie Pier at the southern most end of the Gulfport Harbor. Just to the southeast, Moses Pier is also vulnerable to wind and water.
An assessment done Monday morning revealed that all in all, the two piers fared quite well in spite of a storm surge estimated at six to eight feet and Category 1 hurricane-force winds.
"All the pilings look fine. The pilings are in place and ready to be reworked. We see similar damage at Moses Pier. Some sections are out where the stringers came out of the pilings and a section of the pier went at the same. They're built in sections on the stringers. When that goes, a section of the pier goes with it," Manemann said.
Now, the engineers will get busy inspecting the piers, and then it will be a matter of finding the money to do the repairs.