LAKE ROOSEVELT, Wash.— About one dozen boats collided Saturday during a massive windstorm on Lake Roosevelt. The storm was the last thing anyone on the Roosevelt Poker Run expected.
The beautiful weather brought more than 60 boaters to the lake Saturday for the Roosevelt Poker Run. Then it took a turn for the worse.
Boater Kevin Deesten said the storm rolled in right around 5:00 p.m., as everyone headed to the shoreline near McCoys Marina.
“We saw kind of a squall line and at first we thought it was just going to rain,” Deesten said.
Deesten took home video that shows the chaos. Boaters were hit with wind, rain, rain and large waves. Witnesses said the storm lasted for nearly 25 minutes as boaters struggled to hold onto their boats.
“It blew all of the tops off first,” Deesten explained. “Then the sand started whipping off the beach and throwing it all over and the waves just started growing and growing.”
Reluctant to go in the water, the boaters chose to stay in the safe harbor instead. But that is where the wind had its way with boats, both big and small.
“People were out there trying to save their boats,” Deesten said. “And it just could have been… really dangerous.”
One man said he found himself stuck between two boats and got sucked under the water until someone was able to pull him out. Deesten said it was a miracle that no one was seriously hurt.
Witnesses said most of the boats made it out of the water, although many of them were significantly damaged. There were still a few flipped upside down Monday on the shore and in the water. Heavy machinery will likely be required to tow those boats.