Coast Guard, partners assess waterways impacted by Florence

The 225-foot Coast Guard Cutter Oak is underway

Coast Guard Cutter Oak File Photo

GOLDSBORO, N.C. – Coast Guard Sector North Carolina personnel and other federal partners continue to assess and ensure the safe navigation of North Carolina waterways impacted by Hurricane Florence on Thursday.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Army Corps of Engineer teams surveyed 100% of the Cape Fear River up to Cape Fear Memorial Bridge.

“NOAA’s Navigation Services Division conducts surveys and assessments in order to provide the Coast Guard with critical information to reconstitute and resume the flow of commercial operations vital to the North Carolina economy and national interests,” said Frank Csulak, NOAA Scientific Support Coordinator.

Coast Guard aids to navigation teams verified the accurate location and operability of 75% of the 2,064 aids in their area of responsibility affected by Hurricane Florence. Coast Guard Aids to Navigation Team Wanchese, Fort Macon and Oak Island and the Coast Guard Cutters Hamilton, Harriet Lane, Forward, Smilax, Cypress, Kennebec, Frank Drew and Oak worked together to correct 112 of the 295 reported discrepancies.

“Because we strategically pre-positioned our resources and personnel, we were able to swiftly respond to reopen the ports and continue to support our Coast Guard missions,” said Coast Guard Chief Warrant Officer Ryan Taylor, North Carolina aids to navigation workgroup supervisor.

The Port of Morehead City has fully reopened and the Port of Wilmington is open with restrictions.

All mariners are advised to exercise extreme caution when transiting due to possible shoaling, debris and aids to navigation that still may be off-station or unreliable. Mariners should report any hazards to navigation to the Coast Guard Sector North Carolina command center at 919-722-4884.

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