Heavy ice causes marina's dock on Old Hickory Lake to flip

Posted at 5:58 PM, Feb 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-16 20:00:40-05

OLD HICKORY, Tenn. (WTVF) — The ice storm is leaving its mark at lakes across Middle Tennessee. Several marinas report that the weight of the ice is causing their docks to sink.

The most dramatic example is at Brandywine Marina on Old Hickory Lake, where the ice caused the whole dock to flip.

Old Hickory boat dock

"So my canoe’s right there, the green canoe," said Austin Peterson, a boat owner and witness to what happened.

How it happened is a lesson in simple science. Once the heavy ice on the roof had the boat dock off-kilter, gravity took care of the rest. "The ice on the roof weighed the back of it down," explained Peterson. "When it started to lean, it went really fast. Maybe 5 minutes."

The marina is privately owned by the neighbors who live in the area. Their boats, kayaks, canoes and all the gear that comes with it remain mangled in the mess left behind. "They’re still hanging on -- they haven’t fallen into the water quite yet," he said.

Now the focus shifts to a second dock at the marina. Because of all the ice and snow, it's also starting to lean backward. All boat owners can do is watch and wait.

Old Hickory boat dock

Once the weather clears, the real work will begin. Boat owners hope they can get someone out to the marina to clean up the mess, evaluate what's a loss and what can be saved and then apply for insurance claims.

Even though the community has been thrown off balance, Peterson is mindful of what's really important. "Sad that it happened but luckily stuff and be replaced and nobody got hurt," he said.