June 29, 2010
The federal government is paying a Virginia company to rebuild an electric system that supplies power to the James River Reserve Fleet off of Fort Eustis in Newport News.
The fleet of old ships managed by the Maritime Administration is better known as the "ghost fleet."
Its electric system was knocked out when a 37,000-ton ship, the Monongahela, broke from its moorings and struck an electrical platform before running aground a half-mile downstream.
The 26 ships in the fleet are not used often but are kept in running order for emergencies. The electricity is used for lighting, fire and flood alarms, and corrosion prevention devices.