GULFPORT, Fla. — The Gulfport Marina is comprised of 11 acres of land and seven-and-a-half acres of water.
It’s a well-known spot for locals and visitors.
That’s why when Gulfport was in the path of Tropical Storm Eta last year, city leaders braced for impact.
“Eta was ranked kind of close to the top. We did have one to two foot of water over the docks,” said Denis Frain, Marina Director for the City of Gulport.
Boats took a beating and the storm left flooding and a mess behind.
“The biggest issue we faced was vessels breaking free in Boca Ciega Bay,” said Jim O’Reilly, Gulfport City Manager.
“We did have some electrical damage, we did have some downtown damage to the casino docks,” said Frain.
Currently, the city is still working to get the downtown docks repaired that were damaged by Eta to find out if they’re a total loss.
It’s something leaders want to get fixed as soon as possible.
“The only place that I know of where you can tie up a floating dock and have over a dozen restaurants to choose from,” said Frain.
While parts of the city are still recovering, one silver lining from this past year is that the marina has become very popular during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Basically it’s the only thing you could do is enjoy the outdoors… It was the shot in the arm for the marina industry, no pun intended,” said Frain.