By Bill Shields, WBZ-TVBy Bill Shields

HYANNIS (CBS) – The ferries that come in and out of Hyannis daily are part of the very fabric of the harbor and a big part of the economy. But in the past eight months, Mother Nature has done her best to make coming and going difficult for the ferries.

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All the storms have pushed tons of sand into the shipping channel. So much so, that during a big low tide, some of the ferries are delayed, because the captains dare not test the depths. “And part of the problem isn’t just the shallow water, it’s also narrowed the channel,” says boat captain Glenn Lundvigson.

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The storms created “new” shoals, that also have to be dredged. “It happens from time to time,” says DPW Director Dan Santos, “and we’ll take care of it, because it’s such an important part of the town.”

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Santos has reached an agreement with the Army Corps of Engineers to do the dredging. Sometime in late spring, the Corps will come in with a specially-designed barge, that can clean out the channel in a couple of weeks. And the federal government will pay the one-million dollar tab.