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Hurricane Hanna damage at marina is more than meets the eye

Posted at 8:16 PM, Sep 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-01 23:27:21-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The nearly demolished boardwalk on the Peoples Street T-head is the most visible example of Hurricane Hanna damage that remains at Corpus Christi Marina.

But if you go onto the various piers -- where only marina employees and those who lease boat slips are allowed to go -- you'll find many examples more than a month after the storm hit the Coastal Bend.

"(The marina) did take a beating with Hanna," marina superintendent Gina Sanchez said. "So we’ll be working on repairs, and have been since it all occurred.”

Some of the repairs require more expertise than marina staff can provide. Sanchez estimates that between 20 and 30 boat slips out of the marina's 642 currently are not operational.

Engineers are assessing the damage, and what they discover will determine how to proceed.

It's a process Sanchez said could take two to three years, with the marina unable to collect rent money on the out-of-commission boat slips the whole time.

“It will be an impact on us, that’s for sure," she said.

At least one current tenant said it could have been worse.

Alice Splawn has lived on a sailboat at the marina for more than two years. She and her husband lease one of the slips that Hanna damaged, but their boat survived the storm unscathed.

Their home now tied-down in a slip just one row of boats away from its original location, the couple is pleased at the efforts of marina staff before and after the storm.

“They’ve been working as hard as they can to get everything fixed," Alice Splawn said. "They don’t let things go over here."

Once plans are in place to make repairs, marina leadership will have to find funding to pay for them. Insurance payouts, grants, and money from FEMA are possible sources.

Wherever the money comes from, and no matter how long it takes to finish the job, Sanchez said it's a project that will benefit not just the marina, but the whole city.

“It’s the shining star of our community," she said. "It’s in everyone’s marketing materials. It’s just gorgeous. So we need to invest and take care of it."