The site safety and health officer of the Dredge Oregon captured this video riding out heavy storms a few miles upriver from Tongue Point in Astoria on the Columbia River. When at work maintaining the navigation channel, the dredge framework includes thousands of feet of floating pipe that is simply too large to move for heavy weather. As a result, the operation digs its cutter head in and rides out the storm.
“Since we did not have time to move the dredge, we anchored it securely and placed the cutter head on the bottom and pumped water through the pipe to weight it down,” said Doyle Anderson, Port of Portland navigation director. “Then our crew monitored the pipeline and its anchors to make sure everything stayed in place during the high winds.”
Winds in Astoria peaked over 50 miles per hour on Oct. 15, 2016 when storms closed the Columbia River Bar and ships scrambled to vacate the anchorage areas in the lower river.