Snow collapses marina roofs, sinks boats along Lake Cumberland
January 26, 2016 Share

Snow collapses marina roofs, sinks boats along Lake Cumberland

JAMESTOWN, KY (WAVE) – Nature’s wrath gave Lexington video producer Jeb Smith a unique opportunity to audition his company’s newest technology Monday.  And the pictures his drone delivered may give a number of pleasure-boat owners the opportunity to recover some of their losses.

“We’ll probably use this for promotion or clients, but if they want something to show their insurance companies, I’ll help ’em out,” Smith, a principal in Post-Time Productions of Lexington, said.

He might get more takers than he can handle. A glimpse of Jamestown Marina alone showed at least two dozen houseboats and other watercraft trapped in their slips; the weight of Friday and Saturday’s snow had collapsed the corrugated metal roofs.

Four more of the seven marinas along Lake Cumberland had suffered similar damage or worse. Albany’s Grider Hill Marina reported at least 90 slips affected.

“We’ll rebuild it all,” Grider Hill’s owner Jim Figeravo said. “We’re here for the long term. These things happen.”

“Never seen anything like this,” Cynthiana’s Doug Barrett, whose kept boats at Jamestown the past 20 years, said.

Barrett and friend Becky Jordan were 50-50 as to whether their party barge had escaped damage. But they were content to wait for answers.

“Electricity and water don’t mix,” Barrett laughed.

Several marinas have kept power running to the docks, pumping bilge to keep houseboats and the marina structures afloat.

“If they go, we may see of it (boats) go away,” Barrett said.

Several owners reported that their boats had sunk. Such losses make damage estimates of $3 million to $4 million conservative, Hunter said.

A Kentucky National Guard helicopter was surveying the damage at Jamestown and other nearby marinas Monday afternoon.

Snowfall amounts in southern Kentucky ranged from 13 to 20 inches. Barrett was trying to compute the math.

“I wasn’t seeing a whole lot of other roofs collapsed,” he said. “If these were built to take only six inches of snow, then they shouldn’t have been okayed.”

“The roofs were up to code for the time that they were built,” said Bob Faflik, a spokesman for
Texas-based Safe Harbor Marinas, owner of the Jamestown facility. “We don’t know how much snow was on them, nor how many slips are affected. We’re still assessing the damage.”

Several Facebook posts indicated that insurers already had made contact with some boat owners at other marinas. Some expressed frustration that boat policies may not cover damage to personal property aboard watercraft, but they may find relief through their homeowner’s policies.

Weather variables may prevent some owners from reaching their boats until Wednesday or Thursday, Faflik said. “We will work to get those boats moved to other available slips.”