Lake Pleasant marina still under construction nearly one year after storms

Posted at 6:07 PM, May 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-26 00:53:39-04

Almost one year after a major storm ripped apart docks and damaged boats on Lake Pleasant, parts of the Pleasant Harbor Marina are still under construction.

With more than ten thousand people expected to head to the lake on this Memorial Day weekend, the staff at the harbor are asking people to be prepared to wait in line.

"The big thing is going to be that walkway. The easy, seven-minute walk down to the marina is not there anymore," said Chad Case, manager of the Pleasant Harbor Marina.

Case said the storms last July caused millions of dollars worth of damages. He was there when the 80-mile an hour winds and 8-foot tall waves came tearing across the lake.

"It was crazy. It felt like we were in the middle of the ocean. I've spent time on the ocean, and it was really similar to how it felt," said Case.

He said the surge was the big thing that caused so much destruction.

"The water was pushing up and down. This is a floating marina so what happened was those docks were rising and falling, up to four to five feet," said Case.

Donna Olen, who lives in a houseboat docked at Lake Pleasant also watched the storm roll in.

"The winds were coming, and there was no warning. It was a monsoon with a Haboob on top of it," said Olen.

She said she helped terrified boaters find empty dock spaces to pull into, and was thanked later with cases of beer.

Olen, who has lived through four Florida hurricanes said she just put on her life preserver and hoped for the best.

Those heading to the Pleasant Harbor Marina will have to park, then walk or get shuttled down to where the walkway was once located. They will have to wait for a water taxi to ferry them across the lake to the marina.

Case said there had been some challenges with the construction process as there were not too many companies specializing in marina construction out in the desert.

"We have crews from Oklahoma fixing the dock, and they've had their own storms, so it's been a slow process," said Case.

All of the restaurants and vendors at the marina will be open Memorial Day weekend, including the new waterslide that was introduced at the end of April.

Marina staff are asking all boaters to top off their tanks before heading to the lake as the fuel station at the Pleasant Harbor Marina is still closed.

The fuel station at Scorpion Bay remains open.