NEWS | Sept. 13, 2018

Coast Guard Reopens Ports to Vessel Traffic in Honolulu, Maui Counties, Continues Recovery Efforts throughout Pacific

By Chief Petty Officer Sara Muir U.S. Coast Guard District 14 Hawaii Pacific  

HONOLULU, Hawaii -- The Coast Guard Captain of the Port reopened commercial ports in Honolulu and Maui Counties to vessel traffic at 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Shoreside operations resumed at 3:30 p.m. as waterside assessments continued and Olivia passed with Tropical Storm Warnings still active at the time. Hawaii and Kauai County ports opened as of 9 a.m. Wednesday.

“Effective communication and a strong willingness to resume operations among our crews and partners allowed for the completion of timely and thorough port assessments following the passing of Tropical Storm Olivia,” said Capt. Michael Long, Coast Guard Captain of the Port Honolulu. “We’ve been fortunate with Lane and Olivia, but strong storms like these are inherently unpredictable. Nearly 26 years ago to the day, Iniki appeared to have passed Hawaii only to turn almost 90 degrees and devastate the islands causing more than $3 billion in damage and taking six lives. It is with these lessons in mind we move forward."

Coast Guard, DOT Harbors and industry crews conducted the assessments. The teams surveyed channels and evaluated port facilities and aids to navigation for damage. Kauai required no evaluation due to a lack of storm impacts.
The Coast Guard coordinates with the State of Hawaii and port partners to ensure vessels can transit safely, tie up and receive services, offload their cargo and return to the sea. As the ports open, the Coast Guard and port partners will prioritize the incoming ships ensuring the most critical supplies reach the residents of Hawaii first.
The Coast Guard is continuing to work with partners at FEMA, federal, state, territory and local agencies to aid in recovery from storm impacts throughout the Pacific - Typhoon Mangkhut in Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and Hurricane Olivia in Hawaii.

In Guam, the Coast Guard Cutter Sequoia (WLB 215) returned after successfully conducting ports assessments and aids to navigation verification in the ports of Tinian and Rota Wednesday ChST. Their efforts were critical to re-opening both ports and allowing the flow of relief supplies into affected areas. The Coast Guard Cutter Kiska (WPB 1336) departed Apra Harbor with relief supplies en route to Rota Thursday ChST.