Overnight storm washes away nearly 70 boats along East Port Marina

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PICKETT COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) —The search is on for nearly 70 boats that went missing at East Port Marina in Pickett County after overnight storms washed them away. 

In his 13 years in business, owner of East Port Marina Richard Devries has had his close calls with Mother Nature. 

“It’s always went over or around me, skipped me, but I guess it was my turn,” said Devries. 

Late Wednesday night, Devries and his family watched on as area storms wreaked havoc over his marina. 

“I think it was 11, 12 o’clock – that’s when everything ripped apart,” said Devries. “The electrical volt fried. All the gas lines are gone. There were 100 slips here and only eight are left.” 

Also gone are nearly 70 boats that his team is trying to locate and recover, amid fixing the damaged docks.  

Devries said the cables holding everything together were just not enough, with the floating logs adding pressure along the way.  

The rush of the waters funneling from the east and west fork of the Obey River, taking the boats north along Dale Hollow Lake. 

Some of the boats have been tracked past Sunset Marina 13 miles away. 

Devries explained what’s been the most frustrating. 

“Not being in control,” said Devries. “You just got to sit back and watch Mother Nature do what it’s gonna do.” 

“Horrible, said Dan Burgoon who loves two miles away. “It’s really bad.” 

Burgoon said he comes to the marina to kayaks and fish. 

“This is not good for the area at all,” said Burgoon. “Hopefully we can bounce back from this.” 

To rebuild Devries said won’t be easy.  

He estimated the damage to hundreds of thousands of dollars. 

But his community, already helping him, rallying behind him to help locate the lost boats, many now found. 

“On a lake like this, lake people are the best people,” said Devries. 

Devries said he anticipates they should be able to recover and secure the boats by next week. 

He added he hopes the repairs and everything will be back in order in time for when the season picks up in the spring. 

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