October 8, 2022
Dear Pelican Isle Yacht Club Members:
It has been just over a week since Hurricane Ian did significant damage to our Island. We have been working 24/7 to begin the cleanup and remediation. As Ali told you earlier, it started with the crane to remove vessels that cluttered our bridge, drives and bushes. We also reached out to boat owners whose vessels were precariously perched on their lifts or were damaged, to adjust them on their lifts or to move them to boat yards. Outreach is continuing now that the most compromised boats have been addressed.
Our staff came to the rescue and started clearing out the lower level of oil coated equipment and supplies immediately to be able to get to the damaged plumbing in order to restore water to the Club. Everything in the lower level is coated in used cooking oil from our disposal tanks and hydraulic fluid from the elevators. Professional cleanup begins in the basement today.
The staff has been tremendous even as they themselves have suffered damages of their own, bringing their own power washers and supplies to start recovery since ours were all lost in the lower level. Their “offices” have been Panera down the street since it has bathrooms and internet! We truly appreciate your resounding financial support to assist those employees that are most affected personally by the storm.
Frankly it is amazing what has been done in such short time. in addition to the ongoing cleanup, insurance adjusters have toured this week along with our insurance agents and contractors for repairs. We cannot yet tell you when we will be back for food service, mostly due to sanitation issues that will be resolved with remediation professionals who are expected to begin soon.
The most significant damage is to the Marina, and as Tom Friedman told you earlier, it will need to be totally replaced. (Please click here to view Marina Update) The second largest area hit was the basement of the Club. We housed eight work stations in the basement as well as stored many items. We will have to take this area down to the slab. For the interim, we have ordered mobile office units that are to arrive this coming week. These also includes storage space so that we can work towards resuming operations.
We now are assessing the cost of all of this and are talking to banks about our borrowing capability. I wish I could better dimension for you what this all means financially for each of us, but it would be irresponsible to speculate at this point. We have been building our Club and Marina reserves and they will be helpful in our deliberations. I hope to have a Town Hall meeting for Members next month once we better understand our cost to rebuild and answer your questions.
We are fortunate that we are facing this situation from a position of financial strength, but we do have a mighty task ahead. We have a Club with a strong culture and camaraderie appreciated by our Members; it represents close friendships, special memories and honored traditions that we respect and love. I feel confident that we will not only overcome this tragedy together, but seize the opportunity to continue to improve our beloved Club and come out of this better than ever.
I want to thank many people for their ongoing help in this effort. Some were there during the storm and have not left. Past Commodore Tom Friedman for help with the Marina, boat handling, and financial “thinking”; Steve Biegacki and Past Commodore Larry Farese for cleanup work; Rear Commodore Jack Kane for help with our bankers and our upcoming audit; Vice Commodore Bob Flaherty for organizing the Employee Fund and longer term work on “Next Steps”; Past Commodore John Garmhausen for his legal help with releases and interpretation of our legal documents; Club Treasurer Jim Swift for help with insurance policies. We have called on Members whose unique expertise could be of help and all have come to the fore. Our staff is second to none; last but certainly not least, Ali Feezor for her tenacity, crisis management skills, and ability to keep us all together. Forgive me if I have forgotten anyone. You all have been lifesavers.
Fair winds and following seas,