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U.S. Southeast ports prepare to reopen after Irma

Although several southeastern ports across the United States have resumed full or partial operations after being affected by Hurricane Irma, others still remain closed.

   U.S. Southeast ports are beginning to resume operations after Hurricane Irma made landfall in South Florida on Sunday and continued to make its way northward, wreaking further havoc across the region.
   In southern Florida, PortMiami and the port tunnel are open. The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) cleared truck and gate operations for the Seaboard Marine container terminal, but truck and gate operations will be closed Tuesday for POMTOC and SFCT container terminals, according to the latest update on PortMiami’s website. The port will remain closed for marine traffic at least until 4:00 p.m. Tuesday.
   About 22 miles up the South Atlantic coast, Port Everglades said Tuesday the USCG approved vessel daylight operations at the Northport and Midport areas, while the Southport cargo area remains closed to vessel traffic. 
   The Port of Palm Beach said on its website Tuesday morning that land-side cargo operations resumed at 6:00 a.m. and administrative offices re-opened at 8:30 a.m. Just before noon on Tuesday, a port spokesperson confirmed with American Shipper the port was still closed to vessel traffic, and that vessel traffic would most likely resume at some point on Wednesday, although the timing was still unclear.
   The Port of Jacksonville said on its website Tuesday morning that the USCG is assessing the condition of Jacksonville harbor and port facilities. All of the port’s offices and terminals will remain closed Tuesday.
   Over on Florida’s west coast, Port Tampa Bay said Tuesday morning on twitter that the USCG plans to reopen the port at 2:00 p.m., and that four petroleum vessels were currently on standby to unload.
   Meanwhile, Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director Griff Lynch said Monday that at about 2:45 p.m. that day, the Savannah River crested below the docks of the Garden City Terminal, but there was no water damage. Hurricane straps installed on empty containers and ship-to-shore cranes prevented any damage to cargo, cranes or other infrastructure.
   Lynch said GPA would be working with its logistics partners to determine the re-opening of the port and river channel, and expects truck gates to resume operations Wednesday morning.
   Assessment of other facilities, including Brunswick, is also underway.
   The South Carolina Ports Authority said on its website Tuesday morning that the port authority’s cargo and facilities avoided any significant impacts from Irma. USCG completed a survey of the navigational channels Tuesday morning, and the Port of Charleston is open without any restrictions.