Storm damages Nikiski dock

Heavy seas caused an Offshore System Kenai (OSK) earth and fill dock, with fuel lines, to collapse, Oct. 2, 2019, resulting in the discharge of approximately 300 gallons of oil. Inspectors from Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment Homer responded to the incident and are coordinating with the responsible party and state authorities to mitigate further pollution. The dock continues to erode, but all remaining hazardous materials have been removed. (Photo credit U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Melissa McKenzie)

The U.S. Coast Guard closed a portion of Offshore Systems Kenai’s dock in Nikiski Wednesday morning after a portion of the metal-faced earthen structure collapsed and started washing into Cook Inlet.

In a release, the Coast Guard says about 300 gallons of diesel fuel was spilled when fuel lines were ruptured in the collapse. Both filling areas on the dock operated by Nikiski Fuels have been shut down, forcing offshore tenders to go elsewhere to refuel.

Capt. Sean MacKenzie, Coast Guard Captain of the Port for Western Alaska, said they’re temporarily closing the north portion of the dock as “a precaution to protect life and property as well as reduce further impact to the environment.”

Heavy seas driven by strong winds on Tuesday weakened the sheet-pile structure, allowing the washout. Pollution responders are working with Nikiski Fuels and state authorities to prevent further pollution. Other hazardous material on the dock has been removed, as the dock continued to erode as of Thursday morning.

Jay Barrett is the news director at KMXT in Kodiak.

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