MARCO ISLAND, Fla - Tropical Storm Isaac is long gone, but the effects from the storm are still being felt on Marco Island. County run Caxambus Marina has been unable to sell gas since the storm hit the island on Sunday causing an inconvenience for boaters heading into the holiday weekend.
The storm surge from Tropical Storm Isaac caused the fuel pump at Caxambus Marina to shift slightly compromising the lines underneath meaning no gas for boaters heading into one of the busiest boating weekends of the summer.
"It's the last big weekend for the summer and then we've got to wait until October or November when people come back," says Will Harbeson, the rental boat manager at a local marina on the island.
The storm surge from Tropical Storm Isaac caused the pumps in the bait tank to blow, floating docks were damaged and the gas pump shifted, meaning no bait, tackle or gas.
Marco Island fisherman Guy Riordan says, "normally the park is excellent in providing gas and bait for the recreational fisherman."
County staff noticed the problem Monday, but rough water and high tides kept them from fixing the bait tank until Friday. The gas pump, however, still can't be used until it's inspected.
Workers at a local marina across the island sympathize with their situation. "It's got to be a terrible drawback to not have fuel, especially when it's the primary part of our business," says Harbeson. "They have a small ship store and they have some bait, but not being able to have the fuel, why would I go there?"
There are only a few other spots nearby for boaters to fill up. Ross Marina on Marco Island and a couple of spots in Goodland.
Repairs will be paid for with a portion of the $500,000 budget Collier County Commissioners approved last week to be spent on repairing damage caused by Isaac.
In the meantime, boaters will forced to get their gas elsewhere. "They need to get back in business, they need to get that fixed. We're happy to have the competition because it means more access to the water," says Harbeson.
As of Friday afternoon, county park and recreation officials had called five different vendors to inspect the pumps, but had not found anyone who could make the trip to Caxambus Marina. They're hoping to get someone there Saturday so they can still profit on the busy boating weekend.