Across the nation, more than 48,000 Coast Guard aids to navigation, commonly known as ATON, mark every navigable waterway, identifying navigational hazards and ensuring mariner safety. But what happens when navigational aids are knocked off course by a natural disaster like a hurricane or flood?
When dozens of tornados tore through the Midwest mid-November, the Coast Guard joined fellow responders with the National Guard and other state and local agencies to help the impacted communities. The six members of Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment Peoria, Ill., are usually responsible for inspections and investigations activities along the Mississippi River north of St. Louis. For the last two weeks, however, they have been going above and beyond their normal duties to help those in need.
Would you believe it if someone told you the Coast Guard was in Minneapolis, Minn., or Omaha, Neb.? As a matter of fact, the Coast Guard has units in both places and many others in the upper Midwest region. Their work may be local, but the missions they perform have a global effect.
The rise and fall of river water levels is a constant, impacted by flooding and drought. It’s something those who work on or around the river contend with on a regular basis. This year, rivers throughout the Midwest region are experiencing record low water levels and natural relief through the winter may be minimal. As water levels drop, the channels in which ships and barges travel shrink in width and depth, creating difficulties for shipping commerce. The U.S. Coast Guard, Army Corps of Engineers and shipping industries are working together to adapt to the pressure of keeping the Mississippi River open for commerce and the public.
Whether high or low water, the Chippewa and its crew ensure aids vital to the maritime community are on station and watching properly. No matter what Mother Nature has in her playbook, the crew will be underway and at the ready.
Written by Christopher Havern, Coast Guard Historian’s Office. A period of heavy rainfall and melting snow this spring saw the Ohio and Mississippi rivers exceed record flood levels. The rivers’ waters rose so high that the U.S. Army Corps of […]
Since April, Coast Guard men and women have deployed in support of Federal, state and local agencies throughout the Midwest and southern United States in response to record floodwaters along the entire Mississippi River system. Dedicated units, including disaster area […]
Louisiana Coast Guard crews are working with local partners to contain an 18,000-gallon oil spill in the Delta National Wildlife Refuge 60 miles southeast of New Orleans. The section of the pipe line that leaked was closed off soon after […]
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The Coast Guard has ended the search for the nine crewmembers missing after the mid-air collision between a Coast Guard C-130 airplane and a Marine Corps AH-1W Super Cobra helicopter off the coast of Southern California. The incident is a […]
Coast Guard and Navy resources will conduct a joint exercise in Cumberland Sound, Georgia, on Tuesday and Wednesday to test the Coast Guard’s ability to deter, detect and disrupt hostile acts directed at an escorted U.S. Naval vessel. To simulate […]