LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - Officials at Long Beach Harbor spent Tuesday evening cleaning up debris and damage from severe weather and a waterspout that hit the Coast Saturday. A 700-ton barge carrying a 100-ton crane was brought in to help clean the mess caused by Mother Nature. Jenny Levens with the City of Long Beach reported 14 boats were damaged by flying debris, but a total of 15 boats were damaged in total.
Harbor Master Bill Angley said, "The tornado touched down on the west side of the Harbor. It came through and ripped the roof off a boat. The debris from that hit several other boats, snapping a mast off one boat. The debris ended up all the way over by the pavilion on the east side of the Harbor."
The Harbor Master and city officials will perform additional inspections for damage throughout the debris removal process.
Boat owner Brian McDonald was on his boat in the Harbor just moments before the waterspout tore through.
"I just went up to the store for a few minutes. I came back, and everything was upside down. I just missed it." McDonald said.
K & G Crane and Marine Services out of Vancleave specialize in this sort of work. Employees say the debris removal operation requires a delicate touch.
"We have so many boats around us. We don't want to do any further damage. So, our major concern as we get the debris out is watching out for the other vessels in the area," said Jay Schmidt, owner of K & G.
Boat owners are trying to get back to a sense of normalcy following the weather event and Harbor Master Angley wanted to move quickly on this mission.
"They're going to rig all the debris. The larger pieces we can't get by hand. They'll set it on the barge and move it to the south wall, and set it down there. Insurance will have to take pictures and boat owners have pieces and hardware they still need," Angley said, "They'll dismantle that. Once that's done, We'll transport it to salvage or recycle it,".
Some of the light poles at the harbor were also damaged. Luckily, the piers were pretty much unharmed.