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Corps Reports Southwest Pass Clear of Obstacles

On Saturday, September 10, the Corps of Engineers reported that there are no obstacles to navigation in Southwest Pass. The Coast Guard is now restoring all aids to navigation, working closely with the river pilots, who are advising which aids have priority.

Also, the ports of Gulfport and Pascagoula are close to being fully functional.

Col. Duane Gapeinski has taken over command of the unwatering effort within New Orleans, as District Engineer -- Col Richard Wagenaar -- returns to restoring the New Orleans Corps of Engineers to a fully functioning district.

All 1200 Corps employees were personally affected to a great extent, but will now resume functioning as a district, including restoring navigation, flood control and echo sounding and well as the recovery efforts from the storm.

Thirty-seven of the 174 pumps in the levee system are operating, with shutdowns from time to time as necessary. There are 10,000 cubic feet per second of water being moved out of the city.

The projected schedule for completion of dewatering is: New Orleans – October 2; East Orleans – October 8; St. Bernard Parish – October 8; Plaquemines Parish – October 18.

The 17h Street Canal and London Avenue canal breaches are repaired.

The Vicksburg District is positioning itself to support FEMA with water, power, ice, temporary roofing, temporary classrooms and emergency facilities. The power is coming back on in a number of areas, reducing the need for generators. Debris removal is ongoing in six counties and moving into new counties.

Michael Logue, Public Affairs officer for the Vicksburg District, reported that the Blue Roof (temporary roofing) phone line is operating, and is: 1-888-766-3258 (888-ROOF BLUE) .

Also, there are 46 water and wastewater systems needing assessment, and the states are giving prioritized lists of systems to be assessed. The General Service Administration is providing chlorine tablets for purifying water.

In response to a question by a reporter concerning encounters with human remains, Col. Gapeinski said that no human remains have been encountered in the pumping operation, and that if they are encountered, would be treated with the utmost dignity and respect.

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