Port of Charleston closes through Saturday in advance of Florence's landfall

A container ship at the Port of Charleston ( Photo: Propeller Club of Charleston )

A container ship at the Port of Charleston (Photo: Propeller Club of Charleston)

The Port of Charleston plans to shutter at least through Saturday as Hurricane Florence approaches the U.S. Southeast. But the outlook is better to the north with the Port of Virginia saying truck operations will resume tomorrow.

The South Carolina Ports Authority, which runs the fourth largest container port on the U.S. East Coast, says Charleston will have normal vessel and truck operations today.

But both the Charleston container and over-sized cargo terminals will close Thursday September 13 through September 15. A Sunday restart is possible, “depending on storm track/conditions.”

The Category 4 storm is expected to create a “life threatening storm surge and rainfall” across the Carolinas and mid-Atlantic state, the National Hurricane Center said. It is currently 520 miles east-southeast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Satellite imagery shows Florence, far left, approaching U.S. Southeast (Photo: NOAA)

Satellite imagery shows Florence, far left, approaching U.S. Southeast (Photo: NOAA)

The Port of Charleston was expected to receive 12 container ships through Saturday. Both Maersk and Ocean Network Express scheduled three vessels each to call on Charleston, while Hapag-Lloyd and MSC both have two vessels scheduled to arrive in Charleston.

One CMA CGM vessel was also scheduled to call. But the company said last night that vessel schedules and routings will be changed due to the storm.

North Carolina’s two main ports are shut down to both vessel and truck traffic Wednesday through Saturday due to the approach of Hurricane Florence, adding to the list of sites feeling the impact of the storm.

The Port of Virginia also remains shut to vessel traffic per the U.S. Coast Guard. But the port says the outlook through Thursday September “offers manageable conditions for cargo operations.” It said truck gates will be open tomorrow for normal operating hours, with operating status for Friday to be determined. 

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