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Snow and ice during the recent storm cause an awning collapse at the boating facility.

COURTESY PHOTO: SCAPPOOSE FIRE DISTRICT - Firefighters shovel snow off a dock at Scappoose Moorage.Several boats were damaged at Scappoose Moorage over the weekend as the weight of snow and ice caused an awning collapse at B dock.

Roland Levesque, moorage manager at the facility, which is located on the Multnomah Channel along Dyke Road, said that because of the nature of the structure, "it allowed the snow to accumulate in an unbalanced way."

He added, "So instead of the force of the snow pushing down on the roof, what it did was tip that dock over."

Efforts were soon underway to resolve the imbalance.

"We watched that thing, and we did a little bit of snow removal and tried to balance it," Levesque said.

The collapse happened at about 4:30 p.m. Sunday.

"All of a sudden, it just let loose," Levesque said.

It could have been worse, despite the damage.

"I had no boat sinkage," Levesque said. "They're all floating really well."

Levesque gives credit to the Scappoose Fire District, Columbia River PUD and the community at large.

"I have lived in Columbia County a little over four years now," he said. "Between the PUD and fire department, everybody has been so on the spot, so down to earth and friendly."

Scappoose Fire and the PUD assisted the moorage in clearing the main dock so that residents could access and leave their homes.

Levesque could not immediately determine the extent of damage to boats at the dock. Ten boats were affected; nine were under a roof and a sailboat that moored on the outside, uncovered.

"Until we start to remove the roofing from the boats, there's no way to tell the extent of damage," said Levesque. "It doesn't seem to be, in the big picture, severe, because of the way the roof came down."

A few miles downriver, the St. Helens Marina reported no damage due to snow and ice, although the docks themselves were slick from the freezing rain and sleet.

"We came through it pretty well unscathed," said owner Brad Hendrickson, although he noted a pipe broke at the RV park. SUBMITTED PHOTO: SCAPPOOSE BAY MARINA - Scappoose Bay Marina escaped damage during the recent snow and ice event

The news at Scappoose Bay Marina was equally good, as members of the community helped remove snow, thereby avoiding a potential problem.

Miriam House, with the Port of Columbia County, was pleased that the facility in Warren was unscathed. She gives credit to the community.

"We had an outpouring of community help," House said. "That's the only reason we survived."

House continued, "Personally speaking, I'm very heartwarmed and very grateful that we had so many of our community members come out and bring their shovels, their four-wheel drives, and get out to the marina and start shoveling."

House is grateful that citizens noticed the threat and came to the rescue at Scappoose Bay Marina, keeping the weight of the snow from causing any structural collapses.

"This was a big concern for us," House said. "The port has a very small staff, so we just could not keep up with the continued snowfall. We do a lot of calling and saying, 'Hey, we just can't keep up. Are you available?'"

Addressing the community support, House continued, "They generously donated their hard work and time, trudged in the snow, worked until the evening hours, borrowed four-wheel drives, gave each other rides to get to the marina. Even folks that didn't have a boat or a boathouse in the marina showed up to help."

The Scappoose Bay Marina is owned and operated by the Port of Columbia County. The marina provides public access and serves, among others, recreational boaters, kayakers, paddlers and fishermen. A private section of the marina is for boathouse owners.

In 2007 the Scappoose Bay Marine Park was certified a "Clean Marina" by the Oregon State Marine Board.

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