Local boat captain says derelict boats and barges could cause a - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Local boat captain says derelict boats and barges could cause a mess if Erika blows through

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RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. - There are times when the Intracoastal is part graveyard, part ghost town.

It's a troubling thought as Erika approaches, says Chris Anders with the Palm Beach Boat Club.

One problem, he says, is Florida has had a lot of people move here in the past decade - many of them boaters. 

"In the last 10 years we haven't had a storm, so new boaters aren't going to be aware of what to do," he says.  

Between all the derelict boats and barges out there, in the days after the storm, the waters could be a mess. 

"All this stuff is going to get torn up," Anders says.

He says when the winds whip the waters out here, these seemingly forgotten vessels above and below the surface will go for the ride. 

Anders says abandoned boats and barges could break loose from their anchors and moorings, smashing other boats.

Debris from the vessels could be scattered across the water. 

In addition, sunken boats could cause unseen hazards.

"If they shift and get into the channel, that's when they pose the worst amount of damage."

A predicted full moon this weekend will make the mess even worse. 

"During the high tide and full moon, normally the water will reach very close to the top of our docks." 

Anders says it may serve as a wake up call to boaters who take boating in the sunshine state for granted.

"Pretty much everybody has been complacent… and no one isn't thinking about how bad this storm can be." 

Angers says if Erika continues on its current track, and people don't clear the mess out by tomorrow, which he doesn't think is very likely, the aftermath could be pretty bad.

He's says even 40 mile per hour winds can cause significant damage.

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