Storms Strand Catalina Island Residents from Mainland
22 miles off the coast of Long Beach, thousands of Avalon residents are enduring the storm just like millions of people on the mainland. Boat service has been canceled for two days and a rock slide damaged one building on Tuesday.
Island Rentals, which rents golf carts to tourists, was damaged when a rock fell on top of its roof around 7:15 p.m. A buffalo statue on top suffered a broken leg, and some damage was sustained to the front awning of the roof. "The building was built very strong," explained Donna Harris of the Catalina Island Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau, which is maintaing an island weather information page for residents and visitors.
Due to the slide, the city of Avalon has closed Pebbly Beach Road, where Island Rentals is located, from the Catherine Hotel to the ferry port, locally known as The Mole.
Since Tuesday, boats from the mainland have not come over and weather hasn't been the only issue. The main ferry service provider to the island, Catalina Express, experienced some flooding issues in their San Pedro office, cutting off phones and reservations. A decision about boat travel for later today will be made by noon.
Despite the problems the weather has brung, Harris isn't complaining. "So here we sit on our island--not a bad place to be 'stranded,' as far as I’m concerned!" she wrote in an e-mail.