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Longboat Key dredging delayed again by hurricane

It takes 14 hours to pull a dredge from Longboat Key to Tampa Bay.

The crew from Norfolk Dredging Co. of Chesapeake, Va., would know. It’s had to do it twice in five weeks.

Hurricane Hermine first drove the dredge out of New Pass off Longboat Key to Tampa in early September.

Knowing Hurricane Matthew’s outer bands would reach Longboat last week prompted project manager Steve Bassett, of NDC, to move his 150-foot-long cutterhead pipeline hydraulic dredge to Tampa once again to safe harbor.

When his crew members returned at 5 a.m. Monday, they told Bassett storm damage on the beach was minimal, he said. Sand pumping resumed at 10 a.m.

“We have no significant erosion,” Bassett said. “Last time (with Hermine), we hade some significant erosion.”