RoRo vessel part of Hurricane Florence response

WILMINGTON, NC: As waters continue to rise around the besieged city of Wilmington, NC following Hurricane Florence, the American Red Cross says by September 18 it had provided accommodation for 82,000 overnight stays in 114 shelters; served 178,200 meals and snacks; distributed over 2,600 relief items, and provided mental health and health service support to 7,000 evacuees.

Some 3,100 Red Cross workers from all over the US are providing support for the city’s population of 120,000 with over 140 emergency response vehicles and 110 trailers of equipment and supplies, including ready-to-eat meals and cots and blankets, for more than 100,000 people.

In a bid to access the city cut off by floodwater, the North Carolina Department of Transportation has asked the US Maritime Administration (MARAD) to make the 32,000-tonne RoRo vessel Cape Ray, part of its Ready Reserve Force, available to transport supplies.

The ship is currently on its way north from Jacksonville, FL to Morehead City, NC where it is expected to load trucks carrying food, fuel and construction material for Wilmington and the surrounding area, according to NC secretary of Transportation Jim Trogdon.

The 648-foot ConRo vessel, built in 1977 with a capacity for 1,315 TEU, was previously known as MV Saudi Makkah and MV Seaspeed Asia before joining the Ready Reserve Force in 1994.

The MARAD fleet includes 35 RoRo vessels, two heavylift or barge carrying ships and six auxiliary craneships some of which have been deployed to support humanitarian aid response after hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 and Sandy in 2012.

For the latest news on project cargo and breakbulk operations in the Americas – including information on the humanitarian logistics response to Hurricane Florence – the annual Breakbulk Americas conference and exhibition takes place October 2-4 in Houston.

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