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EL DORADO LAKE, Kansas – The marina at El Dorado Lake is likely shut down for the rest of the season after a storm late Monday night packing gusts of 70 miles per hour sank one boat and heavily damaged two other docks and the walkway.
“I’ve been out here 16 years and I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Debbie Haled, Shady Creek Marina manager.
Haled lives on her houseboat at the marina during the summer but took shelter inside the Coleman building at the lake as the storm moved in.
When she came outside, she saw the fuel dock ripped from its moorings, several pieces of the roof missing from one of the six boat docks, and one boat overturned in the water.
“As big as that boat is, it’s pretty crazy,” said Tayln Feller. His uncle owns the boat that sank. Feller was part of a crew called out to the marina at midnight and spent the night pumping thousands of gallons of water out of the boat. The carpeting, the furniture, and nearly everything inside were destroyed.
“All you could see was right above the doors and this white and blue top. That’s it,” said Feller.
The roof of the damaged dock collapsed onto another boat but the other boats docked there suffered only minor damage. Amazingly the other five boat docks were left relatively untouched by the storm.
“With the amount of damage we sustained to this front dock, you walk down a couple docks and there’s life jackets lying loose in boats, stuff not secured that hasn’t moved,” said Mike Morgan, Shady Creek Marina owner.
Morgan says the damage is too significant for his own maintenance crews to handle the repairs. He estimates it will be at least three weeks before the damage is cleaned up leaving him closed for the rest of the boating season.