The ongoing barge work taking place on the Gulf County Canal was brought to a stop by Hurricane Irma.

 

The ongoing barge work taking place on the Gulf County Canal was brought to a stop by Hurricane Irma.

Due to safety concerns crews were busy Saturday securing their tugs and barges as the storm made its way to Florida.

The tug boats are a part of a jetty construction job taking place at Blind Pass near Tampa.

Capt. Jim Townsend, of Townsend Marine, is overseeing the barge work transfers here in Port St. Joe and was happy to see the crews of the tugs take safety seriously, adding it was the right decision.

While one of the tugs participating in the job is rated for the Gulf of Mexico and the Great Lakes, the second tug, the Albob, is based out of St. Louis and designed for the calmer waters of the Mississippi.

The Albob’s deck only sits 6 to 8 inches off the water, so any raised seas are a concern.

While the tugs are guaranteed relative safety tied up deep inside the Gulf County Canal the same can not be said about the job site.

According to Townsend, any rip-rap jetty work that isn’t put in just right can be easily damaged.

It won’t be known until a later date if Irma had a negative impact on the job site near Tampa and the crews of the tugs are anxious to hear about the condition of the site after the storm.

Until they hear from the Blind Pass location, the crews are going to take it easy and relax a little.

The crew from the Albob said they were impressed with the local hospitality in Port St. Joe and the friendliness of the people.