BUFFALO, New York (KWWL) - In the latest press conference on Thursday, officials at the Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park announced the transition from a Emergency Response Phase to a Maintenance and Decontamination Phase for the USS The Sullivans.
U.S. Coast Guard Captain Lexia Littlejohn provided some new details on the ship's transitionary phase. The de-watering pf the ship is 95% completed, with over 585,000 gallons of water been removed so far. This includes 9,510 gallons of oily-water having been removed as well.
Buffalo and Eric County Naval and Military Park President and CEO Paul Marzello detailed some other discoveries made.
According to Marzello, the most significant discovery was a strip of holes found on the starboard side of the ship that let in a considerable amount of water. Officials are still working to determine other areas where water got in.
Repairs on the ship made thus far are temporary, though they are seeming to hold up. Crews are continuing to monitor the ship until more permanent repairs can be made.
Marzello provided an update on plans for re-opening the park. He revealed tentative plans to re-open the park on Memorial Day weekend.
Visitors will be allowed on the deck of the Sullivans only, with the interior being closed off for the public.
The preservation of artifacts and decontamination processes are ongoing at this time. On the topic of permanent repairs, Marzello hinted at a few possibilities, including dry docking the ship. The recovery and decontamination phases are estimated to take 2-8 weeks.
According to Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, there are no hard figures on repair costs. He said that the city of Buffalo plans to use both federal and state funding for the repairs.
The latest press conference can be viewed below.