HURRICANE HARVEY: BoatUS catastrophe response teams on ground in Texas

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damage to boats and structures at Key Allegro Marina in Rockport, Texas

A photo from the BoatUS Catastrophe response team shows damage to boats and structures at Key Allegro Marina in Rockport, Texas.

BoatUS catastrophe response teams are assessing damage from Hurricane Harvey in Rockport, Port Aransas and Aransas Pass, Texas, today, and say the area seems more affected by wind damage than storm surge.

“This is a storm that is actually very unique and there are isolated pockets of heavy damage, and then other damage to fringe areas,” BoatUS catastrophe team coordinator Mike McCook told Trade Only Today.

“I’m down here in the south Texas area, so the scope of any damage from flooding to the marine industry really hasn’t yet been determined,” he said. “We really don’t know how that affected dealerships; obviously if they were underwater there are going to be some infrastructure problems.”

Claims from the Houston area are “trickling in,” but that could be because people are taking care of more immediate needs, such as their homes and cars, he said.

Cove Harbor Marina, which has a storage complex with about 400 boats, was hit hard by the hurricane, McCook said.

“They give us assurances they’re going to rebuild bigger and better than ever, and will start the cleanup as soon as possible,” he said.

The damage is typical of hurricanes, with boats on seawalls, for example.

jumble of boats and twisted structural metal at Cove Harbor Marina in Rockport, Texas.

A second BoatUS photo shows a jumble of boats and twisted structural metal at Cove Harbor Marina in Rockport, Texas.

McCook says Harvey doesn't appear to be as hard on the marine industry as Hurricane Sandy, which sank 1,400 boats and did $650 million in damage to boats when it struck in October 2012. 

“The problem long term I see is with the infrastructure that supports the marine industry; the motels and hotels where boaters and fishermen stay, in Rockport, are pretty much destroyed,” McCook said.

One unique thing about Harvey and the salvage efforts is how helpful the residents are in the area, he said.

“In other areas, this is not the case,” McCook said. “Often we have to find people, and in this storm, people are finding us. I’ve never experienced anything quite like that in terms of this level of cooperation.”

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