Coast Guard Continues Hurricane Response In Ida Aftermath

The Coast Guard is continuing efforts to reopen waterways impacted by Hurricane Ida in the areas of Bayou Lafourche, Houma Navigation Canal and portions of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway.

To date, 25 obstructions have been identified in the Bayou Lafourche channel, the Coast Guard said. They are mainly fishing vessels, crew vessels and offshore supply vessels.

Additionally, 30 submerged targets have been identified in the Houma Navigation Canal. Fifteen of those targets in the Houma Navigation Canal have been cleared or removed, the Coast Guard said. The Coast Guard continues to coordinate operations with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to identify and remove waterway obstructions.

The Coast Guard also continues to receive and investigate all reports made to the National Response Center, with crews working to identify and prioritize threats to the environment and navigable waterways through overflights and surface inspections of areas impacted by the storm.

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Coast Guard Sector New Orleans oversees 1,082 total aids to navigation in their area of responsibility. Of the 1,082 aids, 384 have been identified as damaged or as offline as a result of Hurricane Ida. Aids to navigation teams have restored or have made temporary corrections to 277 of those aids, which is 72 percent of those identified.

The Coast Guard is working closely with the state of Louisiana, Environmental Protection Agency and Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality to respond to reports of pollution. As of September 16, the Coast Guard had assessed 2,259 out of 2,464 reports of pollution. Of the reports, there are:

• 1,217 reports that have been closed or transferred to appropriate jurisdictions;

• 326 reports where the reports were unverified as there was no remaining evidence of pollution on-site;

• 602 reports where the Coast Guard is actively supervising the mitigation efforts that are being carried out by responsible parties; and

• 23 reports under investigation by the Coast Guard.

These numbers will change as the environmental response teams continue to assess and reprioritize targets. Anyone who sees pollution is encouraged to contact the NRC at 1-800-424-8802.

Those who have uncompensated removal costs or damages resulting from an oil spill to the navigable waters or the threat of an oil spill to the navigable waters may be entitled to compensation from the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund and may contact 800-280-7118 to determine eligibility.