NEW ORLEANS - The boat launch at West End next to the Municipal Yacht Harbor is almost deserted because the piers damaged by Hurricane Katrina and Tropical Storm Lee have not been repaired.
"I want them just to realize that it has been almost seven years since Hurricane Katrina. It only took four years to build the Superdome, and the Empire State Building was built in 18 months," said boater Rick Mickler.
Sections of each of the three piers are missing and Mickler really worries about kids playing in the area.
"Yesterday kids were straddling this out here. The rusted bolts that are sitting here could easily go into somebody's skin," Mickler said."If you try to launch your boat, there's no way to get to this part without threatening yourself. It's just a situation where it's not good, and it needs to be fixed. Makes you angry? I am angry."
"It's disgusting," said Shasta Monroe, who was fishing in the area.
The nearby fishing pier remains a hurricane shattered wreck, so some of the those trying to fish use a nearby narrow concrete ledge.
"Right here to me I think this is kind of dangerous to be standing out here and trying to fish and everything. If we had the pier, we could put our chairs and just relax," Monroe said.
Mickler said he got excited one day when he came out and there was a guy with a measuring tape. It turned out it was another boater and he was so frustrated he was thinking about buying his own lumber and fixing it himself.
The head of the Municipal Yacht Harbor said FEMA and the City are working on this
FEMA responded that the agency offered the city $400,000 in 2009. The city said there are plans to replace the piers at the boat launch and the fishing pier, fix the streetlights and the parking lot and install a restroom. But a new location for the fishing pier is being studied so they hope to have the work done by next spring.
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