A brief period of extremely strong winds early last Friday morning snapped a structural cable and rendered two floats unusable at Don D. Statter Harbor, said Juneau’s harbormaster.
Some replacement sections will need to be fabricated and the cables fixed for floats D-11 and D-12, said harbormaster Matt Creswell, but that should be accomplished before the busy summer season.
“The wind shifted about 2 a.m. on Friday morning. It was a real brief event. It caused it to snap the post tension cables,” Creswell said. “We’ve got to have two float sections fabricated down south. They’ll have to get shipped up.”
Harbor users rapidly contacted emergency services when the line let go around 2 a.m., Creswell said. Users reported sustained winds hitting 60-80 knots for 5-10 minutes, Creswell said. There weren’t any vessels of unusual size moored to the float, Creswell said; the brief but powerful wind through the breakwater was the only atypical factor.
“The people who were out there were Johnny-on-the-spot about calling JPD’s non-emergency line,” Creswell said. “It looks like we got pretty lucky. It could have been worse.”
Docks and Harbors personnel were on-scene by approximately 3 a.m., Creswell said. There were approximately seven boats moored to the damaged sections, which were moved without incident, Creswell said. No damage was reported to any of the vessels moored to the floats.
“It happened back in Statter Harbor on C Float in 2014,” Creswell said. “It’s another reason to replace aging infrastructure, so you don’t get expensive failures.”
Docks and Harbors will begin the process of getting bids from contractors and replacing the two damaged sections of float soon, Creswell said. The work won’t take an enormous amount of time, but it will require the new sections to be shipped up to Juneau, Creswell said. Docks and Harbors doesn’t have a solid idea what the cost of the repairs will be yet, Creswell said, save to say that it’ll be expensive.
“It’s fairly technical. It’ll be a few-day job,” Creswell said. “It’ll be done before the busy season.”
The 36-year-old floats have about 700 feet of moorage space between them, according to City and Borough of Juneau. Until they’re repaired, the floats are not usable by any harbor users, the news release said.
• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at 757-621-1197 or firstname.lastname@example.org.