NOAA05-111
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Dave Miller
9/7/05
NOAA News Releases 2005
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NOAA HURRICANE KATRINA SUPPORT ACTIVITIES SEPTEMBER 7 UPDATE

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration provides a variety of support activities for areas affected by Hurricane Katrina. This release provides a summary of activities completed or anticipated to start within the next 24-72 hours.

NOAA MARINE AND AVIATION OPERATIONS

PAO: Jeanne Kouhestani (301) 713-3431 ext. 220, cellular (301) 787-7269

NOAA SHIP NANCY FOSTER will complete its survey of approximately 3 square nautical miles in the approaches to Mobile, Ala. No obstructions reported to date.

NOAA SHIP THOMAS JEFFERSON is transiting to the area, currently just south of the Florida Keys.

NOAA Citation aircraft is flying aerial photography missions in St. Bernard and Plaquemines Parishes, La.

NOAA OCEAN SERVICE

PAO: Ben Sherman (301) 713-3066, cellular (202) 253-5256

NOAA Office of Response and Restoration personnel are assisting the Coast Guard, EPA, and State of Louisiana to identify, assess, and mitigate more than 200 reported releases and unreported hazardous material problems such as hundreds of stranded drums of unknown materials. There are also more than 70 pending salvage operations that have some type of pollution threat.

NOAA OR&R responders have conducted preliminary reconnaissance of incidents at the Murphy Oil Refinery and the Bass Enterprises Storage Facility both in Louisiana. NOTE: for media inquiries regarding these spills please contact the Joint Information Center at (318) 473-2158 or (318) 473-2495.

NOAA Navigational Response Teams, mobile emergency response units equipped and trained to survey ports and nearby shore waterways, have been dispatched to various locations in the affected areas. These teams check for submerged obstructions that could cause hazards to shipping.

  • NRT1 surveyed Bayou La Batre, Ala. yesterday. Two submerged wrecks were found - a depth of 11.5 feet was measured over one of the wrecks and is the controlling depth for this waterway. Survey data was provided to the US Coast Guard and US Army Corps of Engineers. This completes the survey requests for the Mobile area. NRT1 is consolidating their equipment today and will begin transit to Baton Rouge, La. tomorrow to join with NRT6.
  • NRT2 was detached from Mobile survey area yesterday. They transited to Florida Keys to survey an exit channel for a propane barge that grounded when Katrina passed over Florida. NRT2 was on scene this morning and work is expected to be completed today.
  • NRT4 completed surveys in the Mississippi River between mile 115 and mile 130. A minimum depth of 41 feet was found in the Fairview Crossing. This information has been provided to Coast Guard and Army Corps of Engineers for their information regarding vessel transits in this stretch of the river.

Today NRT4 will begin to side scan survey the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway beginning in Houma, La. and proceeding to New Orleans. This project is expected to take two days to complete.

  • NRT6 is expected to be in Lafayette, La. this afternoon to link with the Eastern Gulf navigation manager. NRT6 is equipped with multibeam sonar, which is an additional aid in determining depths over obstructions.

NOAA hydrographic data services provider vessel is working on the lower Mississippi River from mile 20 north. No new obstructions have been reported.

NOAA FISHERIES SERVICE

PAO: Connie Barclay (301) 713-2370, cellular (202) 441-2398

  • Agents from NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement delivered an OLE boat to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers in Biloxi, Miss. to be used in search and rescue efforts.
  • Six agents from NOAA OLE are supporting the National Weather Service and other NOAA mission critical functions in the Slidell, La., Bay St. Louis, Miss. and New Orleans areas.

An agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, NOAA is dedicated to enhancing the nation’s economic security, improving public safety through prediction and research of weather and Climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners and nearly 60 countries to develop a global Earth observation network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts and protects.

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