Georgetown port director: Shallow channel costs business

GEORGETOWN, S.C. (AP) - The director of the Port of Georgetown says the South Carolina port's shallow shipping channel is costing him business.

David Schronce said the port now has to send to Charleston cargo ships that can't get into Georgetown.

About $8 million in federal money is needed to restore the Georgetown channel to 27 feet deep. Lawmakers have been working to get that money.

But the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dredging budget gives priority to ports handling more than 1 million tons of cargo a year.

Georgetown handled nearly 2 million tons a year a decade ago but by last year that dropped to 107,000 tons. Experts say the indefinite closure of the Georgetown steel mill and the recession have hurt.

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