Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Hawaii Back Online After Olivia

By Karen Robes Meeks

Hawaiian harbors sustained minimal disruption following Tropical Storm Olivia and were able to open quickly after the storm, thanks to coordination efforts by the Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT), US Coast Guard Sector Honolulu, the Captain of the Port and Hawaii Harbor Users Group.

“The protection of our state’s critical infrastructure requires the cooperation of many different agencies—from the FAA, and the airline industry to Federal Highways and emergency management at all levels of government,” said Hawaii Department of Transportation Director Jade Butay. “Our partners were all on standby during Olivia and we are thankful for their commitment to work together in emergencies.”

All commercial harbors resumed operations by 5 p.m. September 12.

“A key strategy in ensuring that cargo movement could resume as quickly as possible was the minimization of potential damage to harbor facilities,” according to the HDOT. “Prior to hurricane season, HDOT staff communicated with harbor users and made clear additional HDOT requirements to evacuate ports prior to Port Condition Zulu. These requirements, which include submission and HDOT approval of a heavy weather plan and confirmation of a tug assist for each vessel remaining in port, were reiterated to HDOT harbor users the week before the approach of Tropical Cyclone Olivia.”