As parts of the eastern U.S. woke up today to deal with the lingering but still damaging effects of the remnants of Ida, recovery efforts in the Gulf Coast area continued. Many maritime operations in the region report that they are currently in the recovery mode, including Edison Chouest Offshore, Bollinger Shipyards and ports in the region.
Though things look clearer than they did when we reported yesterday, it is still appears that post-storm disruptions will be prolonged. As we’ve noted, just one incident reported was a 22-barge breakaway. There was also an earlier report of a ferry breaking away from its moorings yesterday. Those were ones that made the news. Undoubtedly there were other vessels that wound up in different places after the storm than they were when it began.
At 3.30 p.m.yesterday, the Captain of the Port (COTP) New Orleans set port condition NORMAL. That probably sounds more reassuring than it actually is. There are still many waterway restrictions in place, including a COTP order that implements a temporary safety zone on the Lower Mississippi River between Mile 105 and Mile 108 Above Head of Passes. It will be in effect August 31 until September 30 or until salvage operations and has been imposed because of the safety hazards associated with electrical transmission lines posing a risk of electric shock in the waterway.
Capt. Will Watson, Coast Guard captain-of-the-port for the Port of New Orleans, says he is is working in close coordination with federal, state, parish, city and maritime stakeholders to safely reopen maritime traffic along the Mississippi River and the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. Some key areas along the river remain closed as recovery operations continue.
“We continue to work closely with the State of Louisiana and our maritime industry partners to reconstitute our ports,” said Watson. “This is a massive recovery effort and we are doing our part to ensure that the commerce that sustains our Nation can continue to flow freely and safely over our critical waterways.”
Coast Guard crews conducted post-storm port assessments to reopen the Mississippi River and Gulf Intracoastal Water after Hurricane Ida passed through the area. The assessments were conducted to ensure maritime commerce is safe to resume.
Coast Guard crews continue to work with port partners on the identification and mitigation of grounded and submerged vessels along banks of the Lower Mississippi River.
Mariners are requested to immediately report any hazards to navigation, discrepant aids-to-navigation, or any other hazardous conditions. Please make reports to the Sector New Orleans Command Center via marine radio channel 16 or by calling (504) 365-2209.
American Commercial Barge Lines’ American Currents reports that transit delays are to be expected well into September as boats, fleets, terminals and shipyards recover from the hurricane.