News-Herald Staff Writer

SCIO – Wild winds wreaked havoc at the Tappan Marina on June 4, leaving volunteers to repair some mangled docks.

Representatives of the National Weather Service traveled to Harrison County this past week to survey the damage. Officials said there was no definite proof that a tornado blew through the area and classified it as a windstorm. However, gusts exceeded 70 miles per hour over the two-day period.

“They called it wind damage,” said Lorna Bower, director of the county Office of Homeland Security, Emergency Management and 911. “It was not a tornado. They couldn’t come to any definite conclusion. They examined and re-examined it and there were no witnesses to verify whether it was.” Sandy Henry, co-owner of the marina, said volunteers were helping to restore the twisted piers.

“Friday’s was the most damaging when the winds came through,” she said. “It’s was kind of helter skelter. The boats were everywhere and the docks were damaged. Trees were sheared off across from the marina.” Another section at the open bay of the campground also sustained uprooted and sheared trees. Power was lost in that area, as well.

“All other area marinas are back in coves, so the water isn’t deep. They can use piping [to anchor the docks] because it is in a shallow area. “We have a 20-to-25-foot depth of water and use cables at the Tappan Marina. When we get high winds, the docks sway and the cables can’t hold them. The water is up from the rain and the center section is underwater. It had happened before but this was a cluster of bad [weather] days. We’re at the center of the lake, so we’re sitting ducks basically.”

She said the harsh weather caused the docks to rotate while the cables remained tightened, twisting the metal and loosening wooden boards. “It was the worst wind we have seen and that we could remember,” Henry continued. “We moved people out of the dining room and the windows were rattling.”

Volunteers spent the following days welding the medal and replacing boards to make the docks usable once more. “We’re so very fortunate to have good friends to help out of the generosity of their hearts. We couldn’t do it without them.”