Intracoastal Waterway Closed Due to Dike Break

The heavy rains have also claimed another victim that could take quite some time to repair.

A levy between Choctawatchee Bay and West Bay on the Intracoastal waterway broke yesterday, blocking navigation.

The blockage will disrupt barge and shipping traffic for a number of Bay County's largest businesses.

It's a sight one airboater just had to see for himself.

Airboat Adventures of West Bay Owner Rick Ackerman says, "Well I'd gotten word last night that there'd been a breach somewhere on the Intracoastal waterways at one of the levies and I'd contacted JR at panhandle helicopters this morning to go up and take a look at it."

A land dike between the Choctawatchee Bay and West Bay broke around 4 o'clock Thursday.

The Coast Guard closed the waterway from mile marker 262 to 266.

Panhandle Helicopters Owner JR Hott says, "I mean if you look at the photos and video, you can see you can walk a third of the way - excuse me, three quarters of the way across the intracoastal."

Ackerman says, "I have never seen the intracoastal shut down like this. Even in a hurricane."

The coast guard hasn't announced when crews will clean-up the debris, but the waterways won't reopen until then.

Local businesses like Chevron and Cargill Steel send and receive products on the Intracoastal.

Company officials say it's still too early to know how much this will disrupt their shipments.

For now chevron officials say they're not worried about the supply of gas.

Earlier today the Coast Guard gave air boats clearance to get back on the Intracoastal.


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