The hurricane season has seen its share of devastating disasters first with Harvey, then Irma and Maria. Hurricane Harvey, called the most expensive hurricane ever, is believed to have caused damage worth at least $180 billion. Barbuda, Cuba and Puerto Rico were the worst affected with hurricane Irma with loss of lives and more than 90% of buildings destroyed in Barbuda alone. Flood mapping applications and navigation charts which indicate rising sea levels are of particular use as people get back to their normal lives slowly.
Islands like Saint Martin faced the brunt of the hurricanes. Disaster relief teams have flown in 87 tons of required materials such as water purification systems, food, blankets, first aid and tarps to the island. This hurricane season has already been put into the top 10 most active of all time.
Navigation Response Teams Clearing The Seas
Navigation response teams too were mobilized with small vessels and crews to tackle any emergency across ports and the sea. Hydrographic survey vehicles and underwater vehicles were also available off Florida in the wake of hurricane Irma. Navigation charts and applications that can provide accurate information on the depth of water at different points are critical for people who live in the coastal regions, islands and for rescue boats. Storm surge maps developed by the National Hurricane Center’s (NHC) were helpful to predict potential areas that would face storm surge flooding from the multiple hurricanes.
The navigation response teams had to travel hundreds of miles with some challenges being finding accommodation and fueling stations. These teams are also the first response ones in a hurricane that ensure there are no shoals and floating debris that pose serious threat to navigation. The teams started their operations in Florida and Georgia post hurricane Irma to help ports and navigators get back to their routines as quickly as possible. The teams also started a survey of waters in Brunswick with the inclusions being the East River and Jekyll Island Range in September.