Coast Guard deploys 3 teams to assess ports, waterways in Florida Keys

Personnel from various units throughout the Coast Guard listen during a command and general staff brief at the Sector Key West Incident Command Post at the Marriott's Orlando World Center in Orlando, Fla., Sept. 14, 2017. The Coast Guard deployed three teams to assess the damage to ports and waterways in the Florida Keys in effort to reconstitute the area for maritime traffic. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Tara Molle/Released)

Personnel from various units throughout the Coast Guard listen during a command and general staff brief at the Sector Key West Incident Command Post Sept. 14, 2017.  (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Tara Molle)

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Coast Guard deployed three teams, Thursday, to assess the damage to ports and waterways in the Florida Keys in effort to reopen the area for maritime traffic.

The three deployed teams will be arriving in the areas of Key West, Marathon and Islamorada within the next 24 hours and will be locating and reporting targets for salvage, marine pollution and repairing Rescue 21 communications towers that will restore full search and rescue capabilities.

The teams are deploying from the Coast Guard Sector Key West Incident Command Post in Orlando. The teams are made up of Coast Guard port recovery specialists as well as crewmembers from Sector Key West and the Coast Guard National Strike Force. The deploying members are highly trained and experienced personnel with specialized skills that will prepare for reconstitution of the waterways in the Florida Keys.

“During these assessments, we will work with our federal partners such as NOAA to survey federal aids to navigation, determine if there are any obstructions under the surface of the water, and determine if any shifting of sub-surface sediments could impede safe navigation” said Cmdr. Lexia Littlejohn, deputy incident commander, Sector Key West Incident Command Post. “Coast Guard infrastructure and personnel were displaced from the Florida Keys right alongside our neighbors and community members. We are working diligently to reopen navigational routes and ports so that more support can flow to people recovering from the effects of Hurricane Irma.”

Mariners can view the latest port updates on the Coast Guard’s Homeport site.

For imagery and video of the Hurricane Irma response, please visit our Flicker page.

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