Hurricane season keeping marinas busy

WILMINGTON, N.C. and NEW ORLEANS, La. – With the potential for three dangerous storms to hit the U.S. coastline within three weeks, those boating communities most affected by hurricane season have been – and likely will continue to be – abuzz this weekend and into next week.

Many marina owners along the Gulf Coast are still cleaning up from Hurricane Gustav. While no levees burst, some marinas outside of the levees, such as those in Shell Beach, Reggio, Hopedale and Delacroix, were invaded by up to 10 feet of flood water as a result of Gustav, according to an article today in The Times-Picayune. Marinas on the west side of the Mississippi River from Venice to Lafitte received mostly minor damage and should be able to reopen within the week, the newspaper suggested.

Meanwhile, marinas along the Carolina coast are preparing for Tropical Storm Hanna, helping boaters secure their vessels before it makes landfall tonight or early tomorrow morning. While Hanna is still forecasted to strengthen, it’s not expected to be by much, according to The Weather Channel. Still, hurricane watches are posted for parts of the Southeast U.S. Coast, from Edisto Beach, S.C., northward to Currituck Beach Lighthouse, N.C., including Pamlico Sound. And tropical storm warnings are posted for the northwestern Bahamas, and along the Southeast U.S. Coast between Altamaha Sound, Ga., northward to Chincoteague, Va., including Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds, the Weather Channel reported. Tropical storm watches are posted from Chincoteague, Va., northward to Sandy Hook, N.J.; also included is the Chesapeake Bay north of Smith Point, the Tidal Potomac, Washington, D.C., and the Delaware Bay.

The center of Hanna is projected to make landfall near the South Carolina/North Carolina border very early on Saturday morning, after which it is expected to deliver rain and breezy conditions up the mid-Atlantic and Northeast coast on Saturday and then exit the New England coast as early as mid-morning Sunday. Rainfall totals aren’t expected to be anywhere close to what Fay and Gustav delivered, the Weather Channel reported.

Above and beyond these concerns, however, is the threat of Ike, now a Category 3 Hurricane that could threaten the Bahamas by Sunday and into early next week. The Weather Channel said it’s too early to tell if Ike will have any impact on the United States but the entire Southeast coast should pay close attention to its progress, particularly southern Florida.

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