To the Editor:
The Gasparilla Island Bridge Authority installed the "turnbuckle locks" on our Swing Bridge about 5 p.m. Sunday and notified the U.S. Coast Guard, due to sustained high winds above 40 mph.
Prevailing winds dropped and we removed the Swing Bridge "turnbuckle" locks at 8:30 a.m. Monday, informed the Coast Guard that our swing bridge is available to open again.
Fortunately, we did not experience the high "storm surge" that was forecast.
Presently, we are experiencing a 2 foot above normal tide.
To put it in perspective, the higher storm driven tide we are experiencing is still about 2 feet below our GIBA Boat Dock. This is about 3 feet lower than the high storm tide more than 5 feet above normal that we experienced during TS Debby.
The weather forecasters appear to have overestimated the potential impacts of this one for our area, which is a good thing for all.
Orion Marine will be back on the job site at GIBA Tuesday. They will rapidly begin to set up their work sites get back into gear working on finishing construction of the two fixed bridges.
Fortunately, Orion has worked diligently to remain a bit ahead of schedule, so this minor tropical storm weather delay will not delay the GIBA contract finish dates of March 2013 for the South Bridge and December 2013 for the Center Bridge.
TS Isaac was an excellent rehearsal for any future big storm. The Island EOC under Chief C.W. Blosser's professional leadership functioned very well.
Gasparilla Island Bridge Authority