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Tsunami silt
Along with the millions of dollars worth of damage to ports along the Oregon Coast during the March 2011 Japanese tsunami, silt built up within harbors reducing their depth.  The Port of Brookings received a grant of $673,000 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) through the Oregon State Marine Board to pay for the dredging of up to 28,000 cubic yards of silt from the port basin.  Underwater Earth Movers Inc., of Vancouver, WA, is using a barge with large suction equipment to vacuum the silt.  However, the high-pressure pumps are finding more than just silt.  The contractor reports they have also sucked up grocery carts, TV sets, carpet, mufflers, ropes, nets and more.  The items clog the end of the suction pipe forcing workers to spend a little extra time during their work.  The project was expected to take about three weeks to complete, but now officials say the slow work may take up to six weeks.  The silt is sucked through a pipeline from the barge to the South Bank of the Chetco River, where it proceeds on to Sporthaven Beach at the South Jetty.  Another booster pump then sends the material almost a mile off the coast where it is deposited back in the Pacific Ocean.  The pumps allow the seawater and silt to travel about 12-feet per second through the pipeline. 

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