Searches stalling truckers, shipping : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Searches stalling truckers, shipping

Eric Pianin and Pamela Ferdinand - Washington Post Thursday, September 27, 2001

The intensive search by police, the Coast Guard and other law enforcement authorities for evidence of fresh terrorist activity is causing major disruptions and traffic jams along the East Coast.

With federal law enforcement officials and terrorism experts warning that renewed attacks on the United States are likely, authorities Wednesday continued to tighten the flow of vehicle and shipping traffic at key points of entry, while stepping up security around municipal water supplies.

Drivers going in and out of the ports in Newark and Elizabeth, N.J., are experiencing delays that are much longer than usual because authorities are examining all cargo, according to Johnson Sun, the dispatcher at Allway Corp., an import and export trucking company in Kearny, N.J. Sun said it is taking drivers as much as four hours to get out of the ports, compared with about two hours before the attacks.

''Right now, they are checking just about every box coming in and going out of the ports. Customs agents are now breaking import and export seals, something they usually don't do, so they can visually look at what is inside,'' Sun said. ''A lot of the drivers are frustrated.''

Coast Guard officials have delayed the arrival into Boston Harbor of at least one giant tanker --- the Matthew --- which is registered in Trinidad and owned by Distrigas of Massachusetts --- out of fears the ship would be targeted for terrorist attack, sources said.

The tanker, which is the biggest vessel that enters Boston Harbor, is about 6 to 8 miles offshore and carrying 30 million gallons of liquid natural gas. It generally offloads its supply and departs in 24 hours, according to a company official. The company plans to divert the ship to Lake Charles in Louisiana.

Meanwhile, the Coast Guard transferred up to 120 reservists from a Florida port security unit to Boston to conduct armed patrols of Boston Harbor.

Patrols from regular stations have also been increased, according to a Coast Guard spokesman.

Police helicopters also can be spotted flying over the Charles River, their searchlights scanning the river and waterfront rooftops at night, and Coast Guard speedboats with mounted machine guns are patrolling the harbor and cruise ship terminals along with state police marine unit vessels.

-- Martin Thompson (, September 27, 2001


Ah, the price of overreaction. Big.

-- Big Cheese (, September 27, 2001.

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