Oak Island and Southport remembers two years after Hurricane Isaias

SOUTHPORT, NC (WWAY) — It’s been two years since Hurricane Isaias made landfall in the Cape Fear, leaving severe damage in Southport and Oak Island. City and town officials are reflecting on the storm, and how they have recovered.

In August 2020, Hurricane Isaias made landfall as a Category 1 storm. The storm brought a tornado as it dumped rain on the east coast.

The town of Oak Island saw its sand dunes washed away, with sand left behind on Beach Drive.

The neighboring city of Southport saw damage on Bay Street near downtown, and at the Southport Marina.

Leaders in Oak Island and Southport shared what repairs have been made to areas impacted by the hurricane.

“What we had to do was to close this street until we could reinforce it with the revetment, these rocks, get the sidewalk fixed, and then get it paved, and you can see now we have new paving’s, sidewalks, and these rocks. So, God forbid, we’re ready for the next one,” said Joe Pat Hatem, Southport Mayor.

“We’ve had several beach nourishment projects that although they weren’t directly related to Isaias, they did help mitigate some of the damage that was done from that. The most recent was our phase 2 nourishment project,” said Mike Emory, Oak Island communications manager.

At the Southport Marina, there was significant damage to the docks and boardwalk, and many boats were piled up after the storm.

The marina was owned by Preston Development when Isaias hit, and some reconstruction was done by the company, but soon after the storm it demanding boat owners who docked at the marina, each pay thousands for damages, saying the boats caused majority of the damage to the marina.

Boat owners then filed suit against the marina in federal court.  Just over a week ago, Preston Development dropped multiple claims against boat owners for damages to the facilities.

The Southport Marina is now under ownership of Morningstar Marinas, a division of Morningstar Properties, which is not connected with the lawsuit. The marina’s new leadership says it is still making repairs after Isaias.

“We’ve been working on our boardwalk, we’ve totally rebuilt that. That was hurricane damage, and most of the rebuild on this side of the marina’s done, but we’re focusing on the west side at this time,” said Eric King, Morningstar Marinas general manager.

WWAY reached out to Preston Development regarding the claims against boat owners for damage sustained to the marina when it was under their ownership, and have not received a response.

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