Workers ready to remove tsunami dock from Washington coast

Workers ready to remove tsunami dock from Washington coast
Members of the Washington tsunami debris experts team inspect a dock Friday Dec. 21, 2012 that floated from Japan after last year's tsunami and washed ashore on a Washington beach near Forks. (AP Photo/Washington Dept. of Fish & Wildlife)

FORKS, Wash. (AP) - Workers are waiting in Forks for better weather to start removing a 65-foot long dock that washed ashore on the Washington coast from the Japanese tsunami.

A spokeswoman for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Keeley Belva, said Friday work could start over the weekend if weather, tides and safety considerations are favorable.

The dock made of plastic foam encased in concrete is on a remote beach within the boundaries of Olympic National Park and the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary.

The Undersea Co. of Port Townsend will dismantle the 185-ton dock into pieces that can be carried away by a helicopter.

Japan is paying most of the $478,000 removal cost. A serial number confirmed the dock was lost in the March 2011 tsunami. It landed in Washington in December.

Japan gives U.S. $5 million to aid cleanup

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says Japan has provided $5 million to help pay for removing and disposing debris from the March 2011 tsunami.

NOAA says it plans to give $250,000 each initially to the states of Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California and Hawaii. NOAA's Marine Debris Program will hold the rest in reserve as needs arise.

Japan also gave Canada $1 million to help clean up debris on the West Coast.