The U.S. Coast Guard is alerting mariners in the Savannah area to expect significantly higher and faster-moving water on the Savannah River. Coast Guard officials say the conditions are expected to begin around Thursday and will likely peak with a 10-foot high tide late Monday.
The Coast Guard is using a helicopter and an airplane to search for two crew members who are missing from a replica tall ship that has sank in rough seas off the North Carolina coast. The Coast Guard was able to rescue 14 crew members Monday morning after the HMS Bounty began taking on water, but two crew members are adrift in heavy seas.
The Port of Savannah re-opened to ship traffic shortly before noon Monday after being closed since Saturday night because of high winds. It was not immediately known how many ships were delayed because of the closure. Former Tropical Storm Beryl has become a depression with winds dying down. Still, it is soaking the region and ruined holiday plans along the Georgia and Florida coasts.
Fourteen majestic tall ships are temporarily transforming Savannah's historic waterfront into a harbor of yore. The old-style sailing vessels are docking in Savannah for the Tall Ships Challenge. It's the first time in 15 years the city has hosted a tall ships festival.
The terror attacks ten years ago helped shape the Brunswick area as one of its economic engines expanded. The Federal Law Enforcement Training Center is based in the coastal city and trains 20,000 federal officers in 90 agencies each year. That's compared to 16,000 officers before the attacks.
National Weather Service forecasters are warning of several threats to Georgia marine interests because of Hurricane Irene. The US Coast Guard is urging shippers to use extreme caution because of possible 15-foot seas, dangerous rip currents and unusually high tides. On land, however, the Savannah area could get less than an inch of rain.
The Obama administration has restored funding to a Georgia-based anti-terrorism unit. US Coast Guard officials proposed eliminating the Maritime Safety and Security Team in St. Marys as part of a nationwide force reduction. Local officials believe the effort to restore funding was successful because it also involved other communities.