The weekend’s strong coastal storm caused gusty winds and rough surf in a lot of the Chesapeake Bay region, but in Hampton, Virginia, things got a little worse.
A barge broke loose in choppy seas and drifted onto the fishing pier at Buckroe Beach, causing part of the pier to collapse. Securing the barge in such weather conditions turned out to be a challenge.
Hampton Police tell Bay Bulletin the loose barge was reported at 5:41 a.m. Sunday. It was ramming into the James T. Wilson Fishing Pier, a 709-foot pier with restrooms and a bait shop that makes it a popular local fishing spot.
Jaime Pretell posted video on Facebook of crews trying to secure the barge with waves crashing around it. Watch below:
Amid the high wind and surf, it took the Coast Guard, Virginia Marine Resources Commisson, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, Virginia Port Authority, the Hampton Police and Fire departments, the City of Hampton Parks and Recreation, Hampton Risk Management and Hampton Public Works to handle the problem.
Eventually, Hampton Police spokesperson Sergeant R.C. Williams says agencies were able to “beach the barge and secure it to two large excavators using cables approximately 3 inches in diameter. There’s no word on the extent of the damage to the fishing pier.
-Meg Walburn Viviano