ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - Sam Adukiewicz is the harbormaster at the St. Augustine Municipal Marina.
Wednesday, he gave First Coast News access to the breakwater dock, which has been closed to the public since Hurricane Matthew damaged it.
"The breakwater was designed to take larger waves -- say a 3 ft. chop coming from the northeast -- and knock it down to this type of water on the inside," Adukiewicz pointed to calmer water inside the rest of the marina.
When Hurricane Matthew barreled through St. Augustine, the floating breakwater dock rose very high.
"The dock went up above the piling and when it did, it did not come back through the pile guide," he said. "And when it wasn't in line with the pile guide, it just pulled up all the concrete and utilities."
Crumpled concrete and cracked sections stretch throughout the dock now. Water and electricity are no longer running out to the boat slips further out, so those slips can't be used.
Adukiewicz said, "We are missing out on some dockage revenue because of the damage."
Larger vessels -- such as El Galeon -- now have nowhere to dock.
Don Whitlock has a sailboat docked at the marina. Talking about the breakwater dock, he said, "I think it pretty much saved the marina."
He believes the breakwater not only saved the marina but the sailboat he lives on. Amazingly, his sailboat was damaged by the hurricane. "Not a scratch. No problems whatsoever."
Nearly four months later, Adukiewicz said $1 million worth of damage to the breakwater dock remains. He noted that the city is working with FEMA and taking bids to repair the damage.
"Right now we're in a compromised position. The sooner the better to get this repaired and back in use," Adukiewicz nodded.
He hopes the damage can be repaired by July 4, not just because it's a money-making time period for a city marina, but it's also hurricane season and the marina needs to be protected.
(© 2017 WTLV)
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