NOAA readies survey response teams ahead of Hurricane Florence

Hurricane Florence is due to make landfall on Friday morning, September 14, on the coast of North Carolina. While it creeps its way toward the East Coast, NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey is prepared to deploy its hydrographic survey assets to help speed the resumption of vessel traffic in our nation’s ports following the storm.

Lt. j.g. Patrick Debroisse, junior officer in charge of Bay Hydro II, deploys side scan sonar in Solomons, MD, for testing in anticipation of Hurricane Florence response.

NOAA’s southeast,  Mid-Atlantic, and Chesapeake Bay navigation managers are coordinating with the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, following their daily plans and keeping them informed of NOAA’s survey assets and their readiness. NOAA’s navigation response teams (NRT) are prepared for deployment depending on the track of the storm:

  • NRT stationed in Fernandina Beach, Florida, is standing by awaiting deployment
  • Bay Hydro II is standing by in Solomons, Maryland, awaiting deployment
  • NRT stationed in New London, Connecticut, will travel south this week to stage closer to impacted areas
  • NRTs stationed in Seattle and Galveston have personnel available to respond
  • Mobile integrated survey teams located in Washington, DC, and Stennis, MS, are prepared to respond
  • Coast Survey Development Lab storm surge modeling expert is embedded with the National Hurricane Center in Miami to assist with various modeling products as the storm approaches

Map of survey response asset locations
Status of NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey response assets in preparation for Hurricane Florence.

In the wake of strong storms and hurricanes, large debris can become submerged, creating dangers to navigation. Ports are often closed until this debris can either be removed or determined not to be a threat. Coast Survey specializes in surveying the seafloor and reporting to the USCG the location, depth, and size of the debris. Once our teams notify the USCG of our findings, the quicker ports can re-open and resume shipping.
Visit nowCOAST™ for real-time coastal observations and forecasts related to Hurricane Florence.
Check back on our blog as we update the status of our response teams over the next week.

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