It's been nearly a year since a powerful storm wreaked havoc on Decatur, destroying homes and livelihoods for local business owners.
The owners of Riverwalk Marina showed us the progress they've made in getting their business back up and running after the one thing that brought them down is now holding them back: the weather.
“We drove here, came up over the bridge, and there was metal everywhere. All over 31 bridge," said Susan Conner.
That’s what Conner saw on April 3rd of last year, after a severe storm hit her family’s business—the Riverwalk Marina.
“We lost over 22 slips on one dock," Conner said. "And these are people who have the larger boats and really enjoy being on their boats. Several of them lost them for good.”
No one was hurt in that storm, but it has caused a year of hard work for Conner and her crew at the marina, as they’ve had to re-build two docks. And the weather hasn’t made it any easier.
“The rain has really slowed us down on rebuilding the docks," Conner said.
Boaters have been riding out the year, and are eager for the repairs to be complete.
“They’ve got all of their materials on land over here and they’ve just got to get busy on it. I know they may have left because of all the weather, but, as far as I know, it’s on track," boat owner, Charles Booth, said. "They’ve made a lot of progress and it’s looking good. I think it will look great when it’s finished.”
The most important thing for Conner, she says, will be seeing folks, who left after the storm, come back and fill up the new docks.
“We miss having our people here and the place just doesn’t look like it’s supposed to," she said.
A year later, Connor says her eyes are opened to what storms can do.
“I feel so much for the people who have lost their homes, because this has been an ordeal, but nothing like people who really have lost everything," she said. "I can’t even imagine.”
The marina owners tell WAAY 31 their goal is to have the dock back up and running like normal by April 1st, which is just two days before the storm's anniversary; but it will all depend on the weather between now and then.
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