U.S.S. Hornet Foundation Rushes to Fix Leaky Aircraft Carrier Before El Niño Arrives

El Niño is putting the U.S.S. Hornet at risk.

The foundation that owns the retired U.S. aircraft carrier is racing to fix its leaky 100,000-square-foot teak flight deck. Water is already pooling on the ship and damaging floors and walls of the museum inside the ship docked in Alameda.

The foundation says the problem will only get worse if El Niño brings heavy rain to the San Francisco Bay Area.

"The flight deck has not seen any significant maintenance since 1968," said Tom Hyland of the U.S.S. Hornet Museum. "Now with the weather pattern, especially El Niño coming, it's time to do some major repairs."

The foundation has a temporary fix in the works. A contractor will apply a special coating to the deck that will keep the water out for a couple of years. The cost of the project is $800,000.

The Navy vessel served during World War II, when it was used against Japanese aircraft. It later recovered the Apollo 11 space capsule and the first men to walk on the moon.

The deck, which consists of multiple layers, has not undergone any major repairs since the ship was retired in 1970, according to the Chronicle.

The money for the project is coming from grants and the ship's supporters, though they are still about $125,000 short.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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