Florida port seeks FEMA help to repair hurricane damage

Port Canaveral in Brevard County, Fla., is seeking $7.5 million in assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Port Canaveral in Brevard County, Fla., is seeking $7.5 million in assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to repair damage to port facilities that Hurricane Matthew caused earlier this month.

There was roof damage and leaks at cruise terminals, warehouses and other structures. The damage also included damage to awnings and signs, sand buildup in the port navigation channel, and damage along the side of roads entering the port terminals, according to Florida Today.

Port Canaveral is a cruise, cargo and naval port and one of the busiest cruise ports in the world. The figures do not include damage to cove-area restaurants and other buildings on port property that are the responsibility of tenants.

Two “derelict boats that broke loose during the storm" in the port channel contributed to some of the dockside damage, Port Canaveral CEO John Murray told the newspaper. The boats should not have been at the port because there was an evacuation order in place for boats and the boats were "inadequately secured for the storm," Murray said.

Bill Crowe, the port's senior director of facilities, construction and engineering, said initial estimates indicate there was about 200,000 cubic yards of storm-related shoaling at the main harbor entrance to the channel.

The shoaling has not resulted in any ship restrictions because it is on the edges of the main channel and the depth of the channel is about 44 feet.

Port environmental director Bob Musser Jr. said projects will be undertaken to raise the depth of the channel back to its target of 46 feet.

Murray cited a "real team effort" by port staff, the Brevard County Sheriff's Office, Canaveral Fire Rescue, the Coast Guard, port tenants and contractors in enabling the port to reopen in the early afternoon of Oct. 8, a day after Hurricane Matthew passed offshore.

"We had a lot of boots on the ground, first thing," getting the port ready to reopen, Murray said. "That was a phenomenal turn in 24 hours to have the port back to normal operations."


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