Oak Harbor Marina loses roof, trees hit power lines, close roads

Oak Harbor Fire Department Battalion Chief Ray Merrill and several firefighters survey the damage to Oak Harbor Marina
Oak Harbor Fire Department Battalion Chief Ray Merrill and several firefighters survey the damage to Oak Harbor Marina's 'C' dock early Monday morning.
— image credit: Jenny Manning/Whidbey News-Times

The blue corrugated metal roof over Oak Harbor Marina’s “C” dock gave way to the wind early Monday.

Pat Harmon, who docks his boat “Sun Dancer” at the marina, witnessed the roof’s demise just after 7:30 a.m.

“It just picked up and rolled off,” he said.

Steppe Williford watched from the yacht club as the powerful wind rolled the roof “like a tarp.”

The twisted metal came to rest on Andy Loehr’s unoccupied troller-style powerboat “Synergy.” Loehr arrived later that morning to survey the damage.

The Oak Harbor Fire Department responded to Harmon and Williford’s 911 call.

Wind whistled as it whipped through the coiled roof as Battalion Chief Ray Merrill and several firefighters surveyed the scene, but there was little they could do.

“The damage has been done,” Merrill said.

The canvas cover over the boat, called a bimini frame, collapsed and the mast broke under the weight of the metal roof, said Harmon.

The roof was installed in 1974, according to Harbormaster Mack Funk, who’s uncertain exactly how much the repairs will cost.

“It’s unknown right now,” he said. “There was a lot of damage done to the boat.”

The wind ripped off a roughly 40-foot by 100-foot section of the the roof, Funk said.

“The fasteners are still in the wood,” he said. “The roof just tore right off.”

A marina crew moved the adjacent boat out of harm’s way, trimmed loose metal pieces and tied down the remaining coil of roof with secured lines Monday afternoon so it wouldn’t shift overnight, Funk said.

Several live-aboard marina customers reported the tearing metal sounded “like a freight train.”

The marina’s wind gauge hit a top wind gust of 60 mph shortly after 7 a.m.

“When it gets up to 60 mph, things happen,” Funk said.

The wind’s power was evident at Windjammer Park in Oak Harbor as waves crashed onto the walkway at high tide, at about 7:30 Monday morning.

The Oak Harbor Parks department cleared small driftwood, seaweed and other bits of debris from the Windjammer Park pathway Tuesday morning, said Rich Tyhuis, the city’s streets, water and facility operations manager.

North, Central and South Whidbey fire and rescue remained busy throughout the morning with numerous reports of downed power lines and driftwood on the waterside roads.

The Island County Public Works Department crew were out in all four road districts from just before 2 a.m. Monday, said Bill Oakes, county public works director.

The crews responded to reports of minor landslide activity and coastal flooding, he said.

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