Port Huron, MI — A Port Huron landmark, the Huron Lightship, is closed to visitors until repairs can be made to the vessel. The boat, which operates as a museum, is permanently placed in Pine Grove Park on the shore of the St. Clair River. Water breached the break wall last summer, but the weekend’s storm brought more water to surround the boat and cause erosion that actually pushed up the 300-ton ship. A gas line was broken along with damage to the electrical line.
Andrew Kercher, Manager of Community Engagement at Port Huron Museums explained in a Facebook Live video that the boat is not designed to float or move as it is permanently placed in the ground, not water, so any movement can cause substantial damage to structures like utility lines and decking.
The Museum is working with the City of Port Huron and its insurance company to make plans to remediate the damage to the site, which has been in place since 1972 and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Hit with closures and lost revenue from COVID-19 shutdowns, damage to a revenue-earning site is certainly unwelcome for the non-profit. The fix for the water breach will likely require more advanced engineering than sandbags.
A video explaining the damage can be found on Port Huron Museums’ Facebook page, along with a link for making donations.
Reporting for WGRT – Jennie McClelland