Would USS Adams be safe on riverbank during hurricane?

Navy warship museum could come to Jacksonville as early as January

By Jim Piggott - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Now that the USS Adams has secured funding to become a floating museum downtown, the work will begin to get the ship ready to eventually sail into Jacksonville, perhaps as early as January.

But given what happened to the docks downtown during Hurricane Irma, some wonder if a ship the size of a guided missile destroyer will be safe along the river if there's another major storm.

But USS Adams Project CEO Joe Snowberger, with the Jacksonville Historic Naval Ship Association, said it won't be an issue.

He said safety was one of the first things his group had to get approval on and that the docks where the Adams will be moored have been vetted.

“The 100-year storm, the direct hit by a hurricane have all been factored into the plan, and they have been approved by the state of Florida,” Snowberger explained.

Snowberger said he is confident that if the ship is tied down to the piers near the Shipyards property, it will stay in place.

He said the damage seen downtown is from floating docks, which are for much smaller ships and boats and are made to rise and fall with the tides.

But the piers planned for the Adams will be designed to a permanent, solid part of the redevelopment plan submitted by Jaguars owner Shad Khan. 

“The Adams isn’t going anywhere from that mooring system that we put together for her homeport,” Snowberger said.

Unlike current, active Navy ships that are usually sent out to sea to ride out a storm, the Adams would stay put along the riverbank if a hurricane was headed toward Northeast Florida.

Snowberger said that would be much safer than the ship being under tow.

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