Storm damage aftermath at Pointes West Marina

APPLING, Ga. (WJBF)– A little more than a month ago, the Pointes West Army Marina and boats there suffered severe damage from a possible microburst.

Mother nature took a major toll on the marina during Masters Week.

Although most boats have been recovered, people are still not able to walk on the dock. A Sea Tow franchise owner says those are not the only problems the marina is working to overcome.

“I was just blown away. I was like ‘wow’,” John Gridley, a Sea Tow franchise owner, said.

He explained April’s storm was the largest, grand-scale disaster he’s had to overcome.
Part of the dock’s roof was ripped off, and boats were tossed on top of each other-some even sank.

“If you look out here on the left, the left side is a mirror image of what the right should look like. It’s just upside down,” Gridley explained.

When the boats were sinking and the was dock collapsing– another tragedy of its own was occurring: A fuel spill.

“We’re able to contain the perimeter of the marina with help from Columbia County fire department. The Army Corp. of Engineers came up and brought boom for us. Then we put some absorbent boom in the cove to catch the fuel that came up because there was several hundred gallons of fuel that poured out that day,” Gridley said.

The yellow materia is hard boom, which traps fuels from spreading. The white material absorbs fuel and chemicals. Gridley said the Environmental Protection Agency is overseeing the clean-up process.

“We’re burning the candle at both ends, my crew. We’ve got five crews from different areas up here working this mess ever since April 3rd,” Gridley said.

Many of the floating boats were removed days after the storm, but the work isn’t over. Gidley said all boats have been accounted for except three.

Now, Sea Tow is focusing on coming up with the best plan to flip the dock over– hopefully finding those missing boats.

Gridley said boat owners started receiving insurance reimbursements this past week, and many are hoping to get new boats and still enjoy summer days on the lake.


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