Coast Guard, port partners continue post Hurricane Laura operations

Senior Chief Michael Oyler and a contractor with Entergy Corporation pose for a photo in front of a generator that was delivered to Marine Safety Unit Lake Charles in Lake Charles, Louisiana, Sep. 4, 2020.  (U.S. Coast Guard courtesy photo)

HOUSTON — The Coast Guard along with government, private port and community partners continued removing obstructions blocking the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway and reconstitute impacted units near Lake Charles, Louisiana, Friday.

The Coast Guard has embedded in Jefferson County, Orange County, Hardin County, Calcasieu Parish and Cameron Parish Emergency Operations Centers. Coast Guard units have been working with local town and city governments and sheriff’s departments to assess power outages and waterway obstructions. Michael White, Jefferson County Emergency Management Coordinator, has conducted daily calls with other responders in the area and Entergy Corporation to provide updates on power restorations and reopening of the waterway.

Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Port Arthur’s Vessel Traffic Service worked closely with Cameron and Calcasieu Parishes to approve a schedule to reopen the Black Bayou and Grand Lake Swing bridges to marine traffic once all waterway blockages are eliminated. The schedule will expedite the movement of more than 200 vessels trapped within the waterway due to the obstructions caused by Hurricane Laura.

The Coast Guard Auxiliary and Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office have provided daily overflight support in order to ensure that the Coast Guard and its port partners have an accurate and up-to-date depiction of the waterway in order to make sound decisions on reopening vessel traffic and provide necessary warnings and updates to mariners.

The Coast Guard and Entergy Corporation have been working to remove power lines blocking the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. A generator was also provided by Entergy Corporation to the Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Lake Charles to assist in the reconstitution of the unit and prevent further damage to the building.

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