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Mon December 17, 2012
Oregon Inlet Clogged, Dredging in Limbo
Dredging crews are set to survey the Oregon Inlet again this morning after they suspended operations due to shallow waters. Officials with the U-S Army Corps of Engineers say strong winds brought more sand into the inlet last week. That prevents crews from using their side-casting dredge. Bob Sattin is the cheif operator for the Army Corps of Engineers in Wilmington:
"A side-casting dredge is a dredge that works almost like a lawnmower would work. As it goes over the material, it sucks it up, and then casts it out to the side of the channel. The side-caster needs 5.5 feet in depth of water in order to work. Right now, Oregon Inlet is two feet deep."
Sattin says the corps' does not have the estimated $17 million to contract an ocean pipeline dredge, which works in shallow water. Oregon Inlet serves as a link to the ocean for much of the commercial fishing industry in Croatan Sound.