April 25, 2024

Maryland Governor Wes Moore (D) appeared on “Fox News Sunday” to describe the cleanup efforts after a cargo ship slammed into the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore Tuesday, basically destroying it, and said the effort was a “remarkably complex operation.” He was unable to give a timeline on how events would proceed, and also warned of the “massive impact” the disaster will have on the U.S. economy across multiple industries.


See: 

WATCH: Dramatic New NTSB Drone Video Shows Stunning Level of Damage From the Key Bridge Collapse

Key Bridge Disaster Update—2 Bodies Recovered, Bow Remains ‘Unstable,’ Concern Over Hazardous Materials


Moore said the effects won’t just be felt in the region but across the country as well as officials try to remove the wreckage from the Eiffel-tower-sized vessel, the Dali, which is blocking shipping lanes.

“It’s not just a massive impact on Maryland,” the Democrat said. “This is a massive impact on the national economy.”

Moore said the Port of Baltimore has a far-reaching impact on states across the country because it handles more cars, heavy trucks and agricultural equipment than any other port in the U.S.

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It’s going to hurt all sorts of people you might not have at first expected, he warned:

“This is impacting the farmer in Kentucky,” Moore said. “It’s impacting the auto dealer in Ohio. It’s impacting the restaurants in Louisiana and in Tennessee. This is impacting the entire country.”

If he’s right, expect already-high inflation to creep up even further. Losing a significant chunk of the port is already bad, meanwhile, but the Key Bridge itself is also crucial to the movement of goods:

The American Trucking Association told FOX Business last week an estimated 4,900 trucks traveled the bridge every day, carrying about $28 billion in goods every year. 

The port is the busiest in the U.S. for car shipments, handling more than 750,000 vehicles in 2023, according to data from the Maryland Port Administration. It is also the largest U.S. port by volume for handling farm and construction machinery and agricultural products.

He also said the problem would not be solved quickly. 

“We know this is going to be a long road to recovery, but we know that we have to move with safety, and we have to move with speed in order to get our commercial engine going again,” the governor said.

“I want that investigation to be speedy, and for anyone who needs to be held accountable to be held accountable,” Moore said. “And, at the same time, we have got to get this channel opened. We have got to get commerce flowing again. And we have got to rebuild the Francis Scott Key Bridge.”

CNN is reporting Sunday that the first large piece of debris has been removed:

“At this time, pieces of the bridge trusses have started being cut and removed,” US Coast Guard spokesperson Petty Officer Kimberly Reaves said Sunday. “The top part of a northern section of the bridge has been removed.” 

The efforts are likely to be time-consuming, and even when they’re complete, that leaves the problem that there’s now no bridge and it will likely take years to build a new one. Although President Biden has already promised that the federal government will pay for the rebuild, insurers will almost certainly have to pony up as well. Some estimates say the replacement will cost at least $3 billion.

Watching the crash was bad enough, but the ramifications of the disaster will have far-reaching consequences for years to come.


See:

Will Baltimore Survive the Closing of Its Port?