• ITVI.USA
    15,487.730
    -50.360
    -0.3%
  • OTRI.USA
    25.300
    0.130
    0.5%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,446.060
    -51.850
    -0.3%
  • TLT.USA
    2.720
    0.000
    0%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.550
    -0.030
    -1.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.030
    -0.080
    -2.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.450
    0.150
    11.5%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    2.910
    -0.030
    -1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    1.700
    -0.040
    -2.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    3.020
    -0.010
    -0.3%
  • WAIT.USA
    120.000
    0.000
    0%
  • ITVI.USA
    15,487.730
    -50.360
    -0.3%
  • OTRI.USA
    25.300
    0.130
    0.5%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,446.060
    -51.850
    -0.3%
  • TLT.USA
    2.720
    0.000
    0%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.550
    -0.030
    -1.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.030
    -0.080
    -2.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.450
    0.150
    11.5%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    2.910
    -0.030
    -1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    1.700
    -0.040
    -2.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    3.020
    -0.010
    -0.3%
  • WAIT.USA
    120.000
    0.000
    0%
InsightsNewsWeather and Critical Events

Coast Guard continues Hurricane Sally response operations

The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) has been busy the past few days rescuing people and pets from Hurricane Sally’s floodwaters. But this isn’t the only thing the USCG does after destructive coastal storms. It also makes our waterways safe again for navigation.

Multiple USCG units continue to conduct channel assessments, identifying and correcting aids to navigation (ATON) outages. They are also reviewing channel surveys to fully reconstitute all waterways.

Sally’s impact area — southwestern Alabama to western Florida — includes more than 1,400 ATON. The hurricane may have damaged some of them or moved them off station, so verification of ATON is ongoing. The USCG 8th District, which covers the entire U.S. Gulf Coast, oversees more than 23,000 ATON.

ATON can provide boaters and ship captains with the same type of information drivers get from street signs, stop signals, road barriers, detours and traffic lights. These aids include lighthouses, minor lights, day beacons, range lights and sound signals, as well as lighted or unlighted buoys.

For Hurricane Sally response efforts, the Coast Guard deployed a total of 17 helicopters, three fixed-wing aircraft, seven Shallow Water Response Teams with more than 20 boats, two Marine Safety and Security Teams with more than 10 boats and one Coast Guard cutter to act as a potential communication platform.

After slamming the coast, Sally flooded inland portions of the Southeast. Unfortunately, Sally killed at least two people — one in Alabama and one in Georgia, according to a CBS News report Friday.


U.S. Coast Guard in western Florida after Hurricane Sally on Thursday. (Photo: Sydney Phoenix/U.S. Coast Guard)

While flooding was the most dangerous threat, Sally also caused widespread wind damage and power outages. As of late Friday afternoon, according to PowerOutage.us, more than 300,000 customers still had no electricity in southwestern Alabama and the western Florida panhandle.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey declared a state of emergency on Monday, two days before Sally’s landfall. She toured damaged areas Friday.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has waived some of its hours-of-service regulations for commercial truck drivers who are directly involved in hurricane recovery at the Gulf Coast.

Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Nick Austin.

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Nick Austin, Director of Weather Analytics and Senior Meteorologist

In his nearly 20 years of weather forecasting experience, Nick worked on air at WBBJ-TV and WRCB-TV, including time spent doing weather analysis and field reporting. He received his Bachelor of Science in Meteorology from Florida State University as well as a Bachelor of Science in Management from Georgia Institute of Technology. Nick is also a member of the American Meteorological Society and National Weather Association. As a member of the weather team at WBBJ-TV in Jackson, Tennessee, Nick was nominated for a Mid-South Emmy for live coverage of a major tornado outbreak in 2008. As part of the weather team at WRCB-TV in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Nick shared the Chattanooga Times-Free Press Best of the Best award for “Best Weather Team” for eight consecutive years. Nick earned his National Weather Association Broadcasting Seal in 2005.
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