South Florida port operations close to normal
Operations at South Florida's primary seaports and airports started to return to normal Thursday, with vessel traffic, truck services and airports operating at least during daylight hours.
The ports of Miami, Port Everglades, and Palm Beach are open to vessel traffic. Due to Coast Guard navigational restrictions, however, sailings are still limited to daylight hours, and ocean carriers are asking customers to get cargo to drop-off stations as early as possible.
The Port of Miami has been open since Wednesday and cleanup operations are complete. Seaboard Marine, one of the major carriers at the port, said its terminal has electricity, phones and computers.
'Damages to our terminal structures and handling equipment were minimal as were damages to containers and cargo. Our terminal is open to receive and dispatch loads,' a statement from Seaboard said.
At Port Everglades, critical fuel terminals, which supply gasoline to most of South Florida, are operating on a 24-hour basis. Other terminals are operating as well, but non-fuel truck traffic and other landside operations were still being limited to 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
At the Port of Palm Beach, home to the major Caribbean islands carrier Tropical Shipping, vessel traffic is operating during daylight hours.
Tropical Shipping said, 'Port of Palm Beach and Miami facilities, offices and receiving locations are open and operational after Hurricane Wilma. All communication systems are operating, and booking and dispatch are now running smoothly.'
The Florida East Coast Railroad was not yet operating for intermodal customers Thursday. Crews were still completing cleanup operations on rail tracks, and, power outages in the region were preventing train signals from operating properly in all locations.
Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport opened Thursday, while Miami International Airport had opened earlier in the week.