Boaters orderered to evacuate marinas ahead of Matthew

Old rails road ties are at a premium. They are being cut up and turned into blocks to be stacked for big boats to rest on.

“It’s chaos, lots, just getting out customers boats. Storm coming, scary storm so it’s time to batten down the hatches and go,” said Erik Nelson.

Nelson is the president of Scorpion Marine. He and his crew are hauling out yachts and sport fisherman as fast as they can.  They started a noon Tuesday when the order came out from the captain of Port Canaveral that they had to evacuate the marina and pull all boats out.

When asked about the last time there was an evacuation order at the port, he explained that it was in 2004. 

“Francis and Jeanne,  I was here for that too.  This one is probably a little worse I think,” said Nelson. 

His crews are pulling out a boat every 45 minutes, and they’re up against the clock, as all boats must be out my noon Wednesday.

“We’ll go until we run out of blocks and stands or until they kick us out.”

Nelson’s phone has been ringing nonstop. 

“We haven’t had anything for 10 years or over 10 years so it’s a wake-up call for everybody,” said Nelson. 

Customers are panicking about their vessels, many didn’t contract to have their boats hauled for an emergency like a hurricane. 

“I told boat owners when I run out if they’re able to secure their own blocks and stands, we’ll get them out,” said Nelson. 

What happens to the boats that don’t get pulled out? That’s the big question. 

“In ‘04, there was a couple that left them and it was $1,000 bucks an hour fine. Whether that’s still the case now I don’t know,” said Nelson.