NEW ORLEANS – The devastation of Hurricane Katrina, which swept through New Orleans a year and a half ago, may have faded into the background for many Americans, but members of the region’s boating industry can’t escape the regular reminders.
With about 125 sunken boats still inhabiting New Orleans’ Municipal Harbor and 57 remaining in South Shore Harbor, the West End’s boating businesses are beginning to wonder how much longer they can remain open, New Orleans City Business reported in an article yesterday.
Though few of them employ as many as they once did, most marine businesses have been able to stay afloat through “a backlog of storm-damaged boat repairs and replacing gear,” the newspaper stated. But without a place to dock, boaters may move their vessels outside the city, leaving local marine businesses high and dry once the repair work dries up.
Already, North Shore marinas like Marina del Ray in Madisonville are benefiting from the slow pace of clean-up at the city’s waterfront facilities. Marina del Ray added 100 slips to its existing 500 slips after the storm, but it still has over 300 boats on its waiting list, the marina’s manager told the newspaper.
The good news is that the 640-slip South Shore Harbor and the 350-slip Orleans Marina, both of which are managed by the Orleans Levee Board, are being cleaned up, the newspaper reported. And boats are just now beginning to be removed at the 450-slip Municipal Harbor, run by the city.
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