Skip to main content

Three U.S. warships heading to Northeast for possible post-Irene aid

By Larry Shaughnessy, CNN Pentagon Producer
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Three Navy ships should be in position on Monday to aid in Irene relief efforts
  • No official orders have been issued for the ships to assist
  • The three can provide helicopters and floating landing craft
  • One of the ships is the USS New York -- built with steel from the debris of the Twin Towers
RELATED TOPICS

Aboard The Uss Wasp (CNN) -- The Navy is sending three amphibious ships towards the New York and New England region in anticipation that the ships may be called upon to assist civilian authorities responding to Hurricane Irene, according to a spokesman for the Navy on the USS Wasp.

The Wasp, according to Lt. Cmdr. Jim Krohne, will be joined by the USS Oak Hill and the USS New York -- a ship built in part with steel from the wreckage of the World Trade Center. Now the ship-born-of-a-man-made-tragedy is prepared to help its namesake city respond to a natural disaster.

The three ships are all capable of providing helicopters and floating landing craft for a wide array of humanitarian response, including search-and-rescue, road and debris clearing, emergency communications, emergency medical support, and even an air-traffic control if needed.

Krohne said the three ships -- part of a larger unit called Amphibious Task Force 26 -- are expected to arrive off the Northeast coast on Monday. They will be able to start flying aid in as the ships get within 120 miles from the area they would be helping.

But the whole mission is still a matter of preparedness, because no official orders have been given to the Navy to start having the ships join the relief effort.

Part of complete coverage on
Congress fights over FEMA funding
As rescuers raced to free people trapped by floodwaters caused by Hurricane Irene, Washington politicians bickered over how to pay for it.
How hurricane names are chosen
In another time, Hurricane Katia, which was barreling across the Atlantic early Wednesday, would have been called Katrina.
Irene reveals monument cracks
Small pools of standing water were found in the Washington Monument following Hurricane Irene, the National Park Service said, indicating undiscovered cracks.
Crews reach stranded Vermonters
Officials in the Green Mountain State said they have reached a dozen communities that were cut off by Hurricane Irene.
Rescuers among Irene's victims
Two would-be rescuers, a visitor from Macedonia and a Holocaust survivor are among the people who have died as a result of Irene, officials say.
State-by-state developments
Hurricane Irene lost much of its bluster over the weekend, but its destructive hit left a series of bruised states grappling with economic losses, floods and deaths.
Conservatives' attack on FEMA
Republicans in the House tried to severely slash 2012 spending for FEMA. Since then, the U.S. has been pelted by several major disasters and FEMA is almost out of money.
Praise for Irene response
After "Katrina" became shorthand for a botched response to a crisis, authorities at all levels are winning praise for their handling of Hurricane Irene.