Hurricane Ian causes extreme damage at Palm Harbor Marina

Palm Harbor Marina damage
Palm Harbor Marina damage(WWSB)
Published: Oct. 4, 2022 at 6:09 PM EDT
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PLACIDA, Fla. (WWSB) - Hurricane Ian left a trail of destruction in its path, ripping up and tearing down more than just houses and trees. The damage at Palm Harbor Marina in Placida had drivers turning heads Tuesday.

Metal roofs curved inward are visibly crushing boats worth millions of dollars.

“It’s like total destruction. The boats are like on top of each other,” Daniela Tudose, a Sarasota resident, said. “I saw this and I turned around because I was like, I saw that and I was like woah. This is like crazy. I’ve never seen anything like this before in my life.”

More than a dozen cars were seen stopping on the side of the road just to take a photo. Property managers said it has become almost a nuisance while they’re trying to clean up the area. That’s why caution tape now lines the entire property.

Those working closely with the marina said it’s been an overwhelming couple of days handling cleanups and questions. Captain Thomas Healey works just next door at MarineMax, where water drenching the roof left the building as a loss.

“Trust me, we want to help them out as fast as we can, but there are limits to what we can do and the phone calls certainly don’t help,” Captain Healey said. “We are mobilizing teams and units and we’re going to have temporary offices set up here shortly.”

In the meantime, neighboring marinas are seeing similar storm impacts. Just down the road, Gasparilla Marina has multiple structures dipping downward and pushing countless boats down with them.

While both marinas declined to comment, Captain Healey said it’s a tough time for everyone right now.

“We ask that you give us time and kind of stay out of the way. I’ve got people who have been wanting to boat down and to help but that’s really no help,” Captain Healey said.

It’s hard to put an exact dollar amount on the damage done to Palm Harbor Marina as they haven’t been able to fully assess the property yet.