Island Cove Marina gets $1 million advance from insurance - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Island Cove Marina gets $1 million advance from insurance

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HAMILTON CO. (WRCB)  -- From land, the damage caused by an EF2 tornado is astonishing to see. But the destruction that can be seen while on the water is overwhelming.

Marina officials say it could take a couple years before everything is back to normal but they got a jump start Thursday.

"We're here today, five days after the tornado hit, to deliver a million dollars advance," says David Gilfillan with Chartis Insurance.  

However, the clean up has just started. Crews work to boom off areas from fuel, most of which came from boats that sank to the bottom of the lake.

Rich Schneider docks his boat at the marina.

"Its the first day we've been able to come and see the boat, see some of the docks," he says.

His family lives just a couple miles away.

"We heard the tornado coming, it was scary," says Schneider. "I figured my boats gone."

Fortunately, his boat was spared but Will Robinson's 30 foot cabin cruiser was not so lucky.

"The whole roof is just right down on top of the boat," Robinson says. "I'm the luckiest unlucky person."

Robinson is no stranger to natural disasters.

"Well, I lost a house to a tornado in Douglasville, GA in the 90's. I moved down to south Florida and Hurricane Charlie came across my house, category 4 hurricane," explains Robinson. "Last April an 80 foot oak tree fell on my roof here in Ooltewah and now this."

It may be awhile before he can get back on the water but Robinson knows it could have been much worse.

"I have my health, I haven't been hurt, my wife hasn't been hurt, we're lucky," says Robinson.

Marina officials say four boats are still unaccounted for. Crews are using sonar to find them. While officials say it could take up to three years for the marina to be back at 100 percent, it'll be open to the public by summer.   

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