The Coast Guard closed ports and waterways along the gulf coast on Sunday, as well as evacuating its own personnel and resources from out of harms way, in preparation for Hurricane Katrina's landfall Monday.
More than 40 Coast Guard aircraft from units along the entire eastern seaboard, along with more than 30 small boats, patrol boats and cutters, are positioning themselves in staging areas around the projected impact area - from Jacksonville, Fla., to Houston - making preparations to conduct immediate post-hurricane search, rescue and humanitarian aid operations, waterway impact assessments and waterway reconsittution operations.
All ocean-going commercial ships and Coast Guard regulated barges over 200 gross tons were ordered to leave port today if they were between mile marker 60, in Long Beach, Miss., of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway
; and mile marker 350, in Aucilla River, Florida. This includes the ports of: Gulfport, Miss.; Pascagoula, Miss.; Mobile, Ala.; Pensacola, Fla.; and Panama City, Fla.
Extensive damage and closures to ports and waterways throughout the central Gulf coast should