Harbour Authority of Cape St. George

Cape St. George wharf receives heavy damage in wind storm

By FRANK GALE Star Staff Writer
A section of pavement is missing and a guard rail, which ran parallel to the road on the wharf at Cape St. George Harbour, stretches across the road and over the edge of the wharf following a battering by waves during the weekend.
Leon Simon, president of the Cape St. George Harbour Authority, points to some of the damage resulting from a Sunday storm that saw waves pound this section of wharf.

Sections of the wharf at Cape St. George harbour Monday looked more like the aftermath of a bombing raid than a wind storm.

Waves on Sunday battered the wharf and caused extensive damage. But Leon Simon, president of the Cape St. George Harbour Authority, who estimated the waves reached up to 10 meters, feels the damage could have been prevented.

He said more armour stone on the outside of the wharf could have prevented much of the damage, a fact which has been brought to the attention of Bill Matthews, Commons member for Burin-St. George's. However, Simon says no action was taken despite the wharf being in this condition for several years.

Because of the lack of armour stone, the waves pushed up underneath the structure with such force that it lifted concrete and washed out gravel and rocks about three to four feet deep. Also, a walkway at the end of the wharf was washed out, along with sections of the wharf fenders (the planking at either side of the top of the wharf).

Pavement was also lifted from the wharf road, along with erosion that ran about three feet deep. A guard rail was torn from its moorings, pulled across the road and left hanging over the wharf.

Simon said the buoy marking the entrance to the harbour disappeared in the storm and the wall section of the wharf listed due to the battering it took. He said the entrance to the harbour will probably have to be dredged.

He said an estimate was done last year to replace the armour stone and it totaled about $150,000. He feels this would have been money well spent.

Simon said the harbour is due for a major facelift, but money never seems to come their way despite a new harbour being built in Lourdes on the other side of the Port au Port Peninsula.

"Instead of putting money into new harbours, they should be protecting what is already here. Some 80 to 85 fisherpeople use this wharf and all season we had 40 to 45 boats of all different sizes in here," he said.

Simon fears what another major storm might do. He's calling on government to get the work done, especially the replacement of armour stone at the side and front of the wharf.

He said he is willing to show Matthews the damage and sit down with him to discuss the situation. He said the armour stone replacement is not cheap, but it is certainly essential.

ęáCopyright 2002áThe Western Star

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Copyright © 2002 Harbour Authority of Cape St. George