Coast Guard Deploys Three Teams to Assess Ports, Waterways in Florida Keys
ORLANDO, Fla. — The Coast Guard has deployed three teams to assess the damage to ports and waterways in the Florida Keys in effort to reopen the area for maritime traffic, the service said in a Sept. 14 release.
The deployed teams will be arriving in the areas of Key West, Marathon and Islamorada within the next 24 hours and 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 Sector Key West Incident Command Post in Orlando. The teams are made up of Coast Guard port recovery specialists as well as crew members from Sector Key West and the 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 [the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration] 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.”