South Florida ports get Coast Guard clearance
South Florida ports are now open to 24-hour service, after the U.S. Coast Guard finished waterway inspections. Ports had been limited to daylight vessel traffic last week following Hurricane Wilma.
The Coast Guard has completed navigation surveys for the ports of Miami, Port Everglades, and Palm Beach. All three ports started working vessels last week and were accepting truck traffic, although volumes were limited because of fuel shortages and power outages that slowed traffic because signals were not working properly at most locations.
Officials at Port Everglades said its entrances off I-595 and Spangler Boulevard are open, but the Eisenhower Boulevard entrance remains closed.
The Port of Miami, which has a single truck entrance into the port, is operating normally.
At the Port of Palm Beach, Tropical Shipping vessels that were anchored just outside the port resumed calls last Wednesday as soon as the port was opened. The port was operating with draft restrictions of 32 feet and was limited to daylight hours, but those limitations have been lifted.
Port director Lori Baer said the port sustained an estimated $4.5 million in damage to warehouses, the roofs of various structures, a passenger loading bridge, and security gate, and landscaping. Several objects, including a sailboat, were submerged and required extraction.