U.S. Customs and Border Protection Resumes Operations in New England, Mid-Atlantic Regions
Washington – Hurricane Sandy was a crippling storm along the Mid-Atlantic and New England states. It left more than eightmillion residents and businesses without power. U.S. Customs and Border Protection employees are among those left without power, with flooded homes and with damaged roofs. Now begins the task of recovering and resuming criticalsecurity, enforcement, and passenger and cargo inspection operations.
To that end, CBP officers and agriculture specialists in New England and in the Mid-Atlantic are scheduled to process 33 international flights, three cruise ships and one cargo ship today. Airport and seaportoperations in the New York region remain suspended.
“U.S. Customs and Border Protection is our nation’s preeminent border security agency; even in the midst of a disastrous storm, CBPcontinues to do all it can to facilitate the flow of legitimate trade and travel. Our CBP team recognizes the vital and critical part that our organization plays in our nation’s economy and security. Our CBP employees are positioned and ready to return to duty in order to resume routine business operations,” said Deputy Commissioner David V. Aguilar. “We are committing all necessaryresources to ensure that CBP is doing its part to ensure safe, secure and efficient business activities relating to the processing of international travelers and cargo.”
CBP activated its Lead Field Coordinators (LFC) Thursday to manage agency preparations, response, recovery, and business resumption operations associated with Hurricane Sandy. LFCs are activated for each effected Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region.
LFCs for FEMA Regions I, II and III are Boston Director of Field Operations (DFO) Kevin Weeks, New York DFO Robert E. Perez, and Baltimore DFO Michael J. Lovejoy, respectively.
In Region I, LFC Weeks reports 17 international flight arrivals to Boston Logan International Airport, and three cruise ship arrivals and one cargo ship arrival to Boston Harbor. All airports, seaports and land border crossings are fully operational.
In Region III, LFC Lovejoy reports 16 scheduled international flight arrivals – 14 flights at Washington Dulles International Airport, one at Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, and one at Philadelphia International Airport. CBP is staffing seaportfacilities in the Ports of Philadelphia, Wilmington, Del., but waterways remain under Coast Guard restrictions. The Port of Baltimore is open only for non-containerized cargo which can be rolled on and off ships. The Port of Norfolk, Va., is planning cargo operations today. All ports are expected to resume full operations Wednesday.
Region II was the most heavily impacted by Sandy. LFC Perez reports that all international flights to Newark Liberty International Airport,John F. Kennedy International Airport and LaGuardia Airport are cancelled for today. Additionally, all seaport terminals and waterways remain closed. CBP is fully staffed and continues to work with our port partners to identify a timeline to resume operations.
Meanwhile, CBP urges the public to remain engaged with FEMA and their state Emergency Management Agencies for continuing safety and recovery messages, and disaster assistance.
Members of the trade community should continue to monitor www.CBP.gov for updates on port operations and on CBP’s efforts to minimize disruptions. ( CBP.gov )