USACE Working Overtime to Overcome Harvey’s Impacts

As pictures and video beamed out around the world of water rescues and massive flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey in southeastern Texas, another invisible effect was occurring to Texas’ energy coast.

Below the surface of the raging waters, silt and debris were stirring, altering bayou and federal navigation channels, causing shoals, impeding waterways and preventing fully loaded ships from entering or leaving many of the state’s ports, including the Port of Beaumont.

The Port of Beaumont is effectively shut-down for normal business until we get this shoaling corrected. We are still able to handle some emergency military cargo,” said Chris Fisher, Port of Beaumont’s director.

According to estimates from Sabine-Neches Navigation District officials, the Port of Beaumont, a major exporter of the nation’s petroleum products, has lost more than $1 billion in revenue over a 14-day period since Hurricane Harvey hit the area.

Beaumont is just one port tied to one of 28 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District’s federal navigation projects in Texas, most of which either had restricted navigation or were completely closed due to impassable waters after Hurricane Harvey.

The Houston Ship Channel also has limited capacity now thanks to the record-breaking storm. “Houston has a 42-foot draft restriction on what is normally a 46-foot project. Additionally, it has objects that appear to be marine items like pipes and other debris floating in the waterway which need to be removed,” said Steve Howard, Galveston District.

The story is the same along other waterways, but the numbers have improved in the days and weeks after Harvey’s initial impacts in part due to the Galveston District navigation staff working around-the-clock surveying channels, modifying existing dredging contracts and implementing emergency contracts to get all 28 projects back to authorized depths and fully functional.

We’ve never seen this amount of active survey vessels or dredges working in the Texas navigation channels at one time,” said Col. Lars Zetterstrom, commander of the Galveston District.

Since Aug. 28, the district has managed to get all but three projects back online either fully or passable with some draft restrictions.

The channels are expected to be back to their pre-Harvey conditions within the next few months. Given the amount of work, that is no easy task, but according to at least one local port official it is desperately needed and greatly appreciated.

 

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Posted on September 14, 2017 with tags , .

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3rd International Congress Hydraulic Engineering Structures and Dredging

Russia’s leading maritime industry Media Group PortNews (www.portnews.ru) holds a traditional annual Congress “Hydraulic Engineering Structures and Dredging” in Moscow. 

The two-day Congress includes the 7th International Forum of Dredging Companies and the 3rd Technical Conference “Modern Solutions for Hydraulic Engineering”.

Infrastructure development is among the real sources of Russia’s economy growth. Construction of port facilities and new hydraulic engineering structures on the country’s inland waterways constitute an essential part of all infrastructure projects. It is important to take into account the best international practices to implement these projects effectively.

The program of the Congress will be devoted to the latest technologies for dredging and hydraulic engineering works. Speakers and delegates will refer to real projects to discuss specifics features of dredging works, as well as dedicated fleet and equipment involved.

To learn more about event, please, contact the organizing committee: snitko@portnews.ru

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