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Coast Guard monitors port recovery efforts following Hurricane Laura

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Posted at 10:23 AM, Sep 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-03 11:25:50-04

NEW ORLEANS — The Coast Guard is monitoring port recovery efforts with port partners following Hurricane Laura’s landfall in southwest Louisiana and southeast Texas.

The Coast Guard, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration and select private assets have responded and assessed most of the federally maintained waterways and channels, according to a release from the Coast Guard.

An oil rig located in the offshore Calcasieu Channel has been moved back to its normal location, and a sunken dry dock in the Sabine-Neches Canal has been moved to the bank. The Calcasieu Channel reopened Tuesday morning with a 30-foot vessel draft restriction. Many channel markers and aids to navigation remain damaged, missing or moved off of their assigned location, the release states.

The Coast Guard is monitoring efforts by Entergy Power to remove downed power lines blocking barge traffic along the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. The waterway is currently closed at mile marker 260 of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway in the vicinity of Vinton, Louisiana, between Orange, Texas and Lake Charles.

Coast Guard monitors port recovery efforts after Hurricane Laura
Downed power lines block the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway at mile marker 260. The Coast Guard is able to use unmanned aircraft systems to quickly and safely assess damage following major storms, as seen in this photo taken by the Coast Guard Gulf Strike Team. (U.S. Coast Guard courtesy asset)

Two other power lines blocking the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway have been cut but partially obstruct the channel, and drawbridges at Grand Lake and Black Bayou are operating at reduced capacity due to power outages.

The Gulf Intracoastal Waterway is a vital artery linking ports from New Orleans to Houston and servicing the heart of the nation’s petrochemical industry. More than 35,000 towboats use the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway each year in the Port Arthur area.

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