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Another boat dock collapses on Old Hickory Lake; other marinas fear they're next

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Posted at 6:32 PM, Feb 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-18 21:50:48-05

OLD HICKORY, Tenn. (WTVF) — All of the snow and ice has caused another dock to collapse out on Old Hickory Lake. This morning, I-Dock crumbled under the weight of all the snow and ice on the roof. Bryan Hill happened to have his drone up in the air when it fell.

"All of a sudden it collapsed right there in front of me. I started yelling, my wife came running, I was like -- our dock just collapsed," said Hill.

It was a shock to be sure, but it was also something Hill had been worried about for days. In fact, that's why he was flying his drone. He wanted to get a better look. "The fingers, the walkways were under water a little bit," explained Hill.

Wednesday, he and a few other boat owners decided it was no longer safe to keep their boats there, so they moved them to other, more stable docks. "It had gotten much lower [Wednesday]. We all put waders on and got out in the water on the dock -- it was almost waist high at that point," he said.

I-Dock is the second to collapse at Blue Turtle Bay in just 24 hours and the fourth on Old Hickory Lake since this winter storm began. Two docks at Brandywine Marina have also flipped due to all the ice and snow.

"At least the docks here, it’s not like up north. They’re not built to withstand that kind of weight from snow and ice," said Hill.

Boat owners on Percy Priest Lake are now worried, they could be next. "I just wanted to check it out, make sure everything is good," said Ryan Powers, a boat owner over at Nashville Shores Marina.

Powers and a friend rushed over to Nashville Shores after they heard about the other marina failures. They learned their sailboat was fine but other vessels in a covered dock could be in danger. Photos contributed to NewsChannel 5 show the dock sinking and gangways covered with water.

Even if boat owners wanted to come and do something about it, just getting down to Nashville Shores Marina is dangerous given the slick roads. It's also nearly impossible to get boat trailers down slick boat ramps. "Hope for the best, and that's where insurance comes into play," joked Powers.

Back over at Blue Turtle Bay, because of the dangerous situation, the entire property is on lockdown. Hill is worried more docks could meet a similar fate. "Hopefully those hold out but there are definitely some others that are in danger over there," said Hill.