Following strong north winds, Oregon Inlet at Bonner Bridge is too shallow for dredges, forcing crews to stop clearing the channel.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials said Thursday that the Merritt, a side-casting dredge, would not be able to work the troubled channel as planned. Depths at the navigation span under the bridge are only 2 feet, according to a statement.
The corps does not own an ocean pipeline dredge, the only mechanism able to work in such shallow waters, it said. The agency does not have money to contract for an ocean pipeline dredge.
Meanwhile, the Merritt will be on standby in Wanchese until crews take another survey Monday.