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Damage to cities catches the news cameras' attention.  Damage to ship channels is overlooked, yet huge amounts of debris are washed offshore into the channels, navigation buoys washed away, sometimes even the floors of the shipping lanes are changed so that ships may run aground.  After the storm this has to be repaired and cleaned up and re-charted to restore these lifelines to the cities.

The much-hallowed Private Sector isn't doing this.  The National Ocean Service (NOS) is:

Immediately following a hurricane, NOS's Office of Coast Survey provides emergency hydrographic services for affected port areas. These services are performed by Navigation Response Teams (NRTs). These mobile emergency response units use echo sounders to check for shoaling and submerged obstructions that pose hazards to vessels, collect data to update nautical charts, and provide mapping support. The NRTs' work helps speed the re-opening of ports and waterways, allowing the flow of relief supplies, and enabling the resumption of ocean commerce—valued at more than $1 trillion annually to the nation's economy—to resume.
Navigation for commercial shipping is one of the lifelines to the devastated areas after a disaster like this.  NOS, part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, works in conjunction with the Coast Guard (also not a Private Sector operation) to clear hazardous debris from the shipping channels, restore navigation aids, etc., so that lifeline gets back up as quickly as possible.  Some examples:

On Oct. 31:

Oct. 31 Update: On Oct. 26, Coast Survey navigation response personnel and assets began moving to their initial positions...
On Nov. 1:
New York / New Jersey: Restoring fuel flow into the New York area has been a top priority—but barge deliveries have been hampered by water borne obstructions that forced a partial closure of the port. NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson mobilized through the night to New York Harbor (see NOAA Chart 12327), where they began surveying at 3:12 a.m. this morning, looking for the sunken containers, debris, and shoaling that pose dangers to ships and lives...
Chesapeake: NOAA Ship Ferdinand Hassler completed their survey of deep draft ship channels in Chesapeake Channel and Thimble Shoal Channel, as 78 large vessels, including portions of the Navy's Atlantic Fleet, waited to transit through the entrance to Chesapeake Bay. NOAA R/V Bay Hydro II is working on their third day of surveying in the Hampton Roads area, checking channels needed by coal shipments and aircraft carriers at Norfolk...
Delaware: NOAA R/V Potawaugh mobilized yesterday to Lewes, Del., to survey for shoaling that may pose a risk to safe navigation for the Cape May–Lewes Ferry and other vessels.
On Nov. 2:
Nov. 2 Update: Major navigation response operations are completed in Chesapeake Bay and Delaware Bay, although some additional hydrographic projects are still on Coast Survey's radar in the coming days.

Work continues in the Port of New York/New Jersey. Two navigation response teams, and the Thomas Jefferson with two of her launches, are still clearing shipping channels and terminals.

The whole page is worth reading.  This is a government agency with expertise, emergency plans, and a full understanding of what a hurricane can do, and the ability to go fix it.

Why the Obama campaign isn't publicizing this is beyond my understanding.  This is precisely what a government does, if the preamble to the Constitution is to be believed:  "...establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity..."  I haven't noticed Private Sector support for anything but amassing wealth in private hands by trampling on the "general welfare" and liberty of the people.  But the Obama administration is doing exactly what's necessary and right.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I think the reason the campaign (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vita Brevis, BlackSheep1, llywrch

    isn't exploiting this is because they think it would be insensitive to politicize this in any sort of way. That's why this morning I didn't hear the President mention the govt response to Sandy in his campaign speech because he probably thought it would've been too insensitive to the victims and people who've lost their homes.

  •  These guys need our support as much as (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vita Brevis

    our President does, 'cause Lyin' and Rmoney want to take away their jobs and basically trashcan their expertise in the name of profit.

    LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

    by BlackSheep1 on Fri Nov 02, 2012 at 10:33:53 AM PDT

  •  The Ports of the East Coast/Sandy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tinfoil Hat

    Check these photos

    Update 3: Status of NY, NJ Port, Waterways

    The Port of New York and New Jersey is open with the following guidelines and exceptions:

        The Port of New York is open to all tug and barge traffic carrying petroleum products.
        New York waterway ferries and taxi service are fully operational on the Hudson and East Rivers.
        Gravesend Bay anchorage south of the Verrazano Bridge as well as the anchorage north of the bridge is now open.
        The Hudson River is open to all vessel traffic north of George Washington Bridge.
        Tugs and barges are permitted to precede along the Arthur Kill waterway from the south with permission by VTS the Caption of the Port.
        All inspected passenger vessels are authorized to operate except within the noted exclusive zones.
        Anchorage Ground 21-C in Bay Ridge Flats is open to approved vessel traffic.
        Port Jersey Channel is open.

    More specific guidelines and exceptions on the status of the port are posted to New York Homeport.

    As the port opens, agents are reminded to provide updates to the pilots and facilities to ensure the efficient entry of vessels.

    This is us governing. Live so that 100 years from now, someone may be proud of us.

    by marthature on Fri Nov 02, 2012 at 10:35:01 AM PDT

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