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Dorian to shut U.S. Southeast ports, intermodal for much of week

Hurricane Dorian’s approach upward along the U.S. Southeast coast will shutter maritime and rail assets throughout the region during the week.  

Dorian was located just 100 miles off the Florida coast as of Monday evening, according to the National Hurricane Center, and was stationary just off Freeport, Bahamas. It was downgraded to a Category 4 from an earlier Category 5 hurricane, but still had wind speeds up to 140 miles per hour. 

Miami’s port remains closed since Saturday due to Dorian. With its track set to head northward, other ports along Florida’s coast plan to close. 

On Tuesday, the U.S. Coast Guard will close the ports of Jacksonville and Fernandina to all vessel traffic, after earlier closing Canaveral port to all vessel traffic.

View of Dorian‘s expected path. Source: SONAR Critical Events Page

Georgia Ports Authority said its Brunswick and Savannah ports will be closed Tuesday, September 4 and Wednesday, September 5.

The South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) said it will shut the Charleston and Georgetown ports Wednesday, September 4 through Thursday, September 5 due to the approach of Dorian. It said all terminals will open Friday, September 6.

North Carolina’s Wilmington and Morehead City ports plan to operate normal truck gates on Tuesday. But no refrigerated exports will be allowed in on Tuesday. Both ports will be fully shut to commercial activity on Wednesday.

Norfolk Southern said it would close all origin facility gates for intermodal shipments destined to Charleston and Savannah by 4 p.m. Tuesday, as well as its Charleston Intermodal Facility. The closures are expected to last at least through Friday, September 6, Norfolk Southern said. 

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Michael Angell, Bulk and Intermodal Editor

Michael Angell covers maritime, intermodal and related topics for FreightWaves. His interest in transportation stretches back several generations. One great-grandfather was a dray horseman along the New York waterfront and another was a railway engineer in Texas. More recently, Michael has written about the shipping industry for TradeWinds, energy markets for Oil Price Information Service, and general business topics for FactSet Mergerstat and Investor's Business Daily. When he is not stuck in the office, he enjoys tours of ports, terminals, and railyards.