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VIDEO: Mother Nature's fury

Towing and salvage operators up and down the East Coast have begun assessing the damage Hurricane Irene inflicted on recreational boats and marinas.

The storm pulled boats off their moorings or dragged them into other boats, onto beaches or into rocks, according to several TowBoatUS franchises. Irene also caused major damage to marina docks.


Click play to view some of the damage and hear two towing operators talk about the situation. Mobile users can also click here.

"The marinas are busted up pretty good here, and we've got a list of boats to get to," says Lee Sykes, franchise owner of TowBoatUS Oregon Inlet (N.C.), who has provided information and photography of the destruction to Soundings during the last four days.

Safe/Sea, a TowBoatUS contractor based in Wickford, R.I., has given Soundings reports on the impact Irene has had in southern New England. Like Sykes, Nick LeBlanc, Safe/Sea's operations supervisor, has seen dozens of boats torn up on the shore or sunk in their slips.

"They get thrown up onto the shore, and the surf pounds them into the rocks," says LeBlanc, who was on the company's 35-foot RIB on his way to size up a sailboat that may have suffered that very fate.

Click play to watch an eyewitness in Norwalk, Conn., as he records the destruction there.