Dock builders seeing increase in repairs following weather events

VIDEO: Dock builders seeing increase in repairs following weather events
Source: WCSC
Source: WCSC

CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - A spokesperson for Crosby's Fish and Shrimp on Folly Road said the business will open back up Friday morning after their dock collapsed Wednesday evening.

Two people suffered minor scrapes and bruises, but nothing serious from the accident.

The cause of the collapse is still unknown.

Professionals have been dealing with many repairs lately from the recent flooding that could have created damage to several docks in the Lowcountry.

They said some of the damage has been caused by the weather events over the past month.

"The extremely high tides with the flood waters has caused a lot of damage with floating docks," said Jason Jones, owner of Imperial Docks by Design. "Older docks mainly so that's the repair work that we're seeing."

While there isn't a mandatory time period for when docks should be repaired, experts say it's important to do routine checks.

"Preserving your dock is like preserving your car," said Brian Lepak, General Manager with Decks & Docks Lumber Company. "You want to have preventive maintenance. You change the oil in your car every 3,000 miles, you need to do something with your deck and dock every year."

According to the Department of Health and Environmental Control you shouldn't have to make major repairs for 15 years, unless Mother Nature gets in the way.

"When Mother Nature comes into effect she does what she wants to do," Lepak said. "She's going to twist and turn every dock. It just depends on the way it's built. There are products out there that can help the product survive."

For the Charleston area, DHEC says repairs could happen sooner for those built on the Harbor or Intracoastal Waterways.

As for older docks, maintenance should be a high priority.

Some people in Charleston say they've noticed creaking while out on the dock at Crosby's Fish and Shrimp on Folly Road.

Experts say it's hard to determine exactly what happened by just looking at it.

"Obviously I've seen it like many people from the side of the road," Jones said. "I think it is an older structure, they're going to be more susceptible to having problems in this type of situation."

Jones said the most common problem they see in older decks are the worms.

"[They're] probably the biggest enemy to the wooden pilings," Jones added. "They actually eat the wood and compromise the structure. It's just something you have to stay on top of."

A spokesperson for the restaurant said they still don't know what caused the collapse, but that the dock and the pilings are inspected regularly.

A statement from the company released today reads:

"The seafood shop at Crosby's Fish & Shrimp will be open for business on Friday, October 30, but the fishing pier will remain closed. Crosby's weekly Friday Night Fish Fry will be postponed this week.

The dock at Crosby's is inspected regularly, but insurance adjusters and their local teams are scheduled to inspect the dock in the immediate future.

The Crosby family extends their gratitude to the community.  They are especially thankful for the numerous emergency response teams for their speedy and diligent work following the incident on the evening of October 28th.

Only two minor injuries were sustained during the dock collapse. Everyone that fell into the water visited the hospital as a precautionary measure. As scheduled, the entire group returned to their respective homes across the country, and they were all in good health.

Details regarding reopening of the fishing pier and the Friday Night Fish Fry will be posted on the Crosby's Fish & Shrimp Facebook page."
Charleston County also released a statement today regarding the incident at Crosby's.

A statement from Charleston County reads:

"We have received a number of inquiries related to last night's incident. We still continue to gather information but
here's what we have so far.

In 1987, the City of Folly Beach annexed a significant amount of marsh area adjacent to the Island. The official annexation documents describe creeks, marsh and tributaries. This annexation included all of the marsh area surrounding Crosby's Seafood. The marsh area is located below the DHEC-OCRM Critical Line. The area above the OCRM Critical line is considered highland. The Crosby's Seafood building and parking area is on the highland and is within the jurisdiction of Charleston County.  All structures outside of the Critical Line must be permitted by OCRM.

We will continue to work with the City of Folly Beach to further look into this matter and provide more information once it's available."

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