Monday, September 15, 2008

Coast Guard Update on Ports of Houston and Galveston

I received the following message from Ryder\'s global procurement team as a reprint from today\'s Journal of Commerce.

From this mornings Journal of Commerce. Please note, that with the highlighted exception below, the port is still closed to liner traffic and diverting other arrivals.
Houston waterways re-open

Updated September 15, 2008 11:34:47 AM

Journal of Commerce
The Coast Guard Captain of the Port at Houston has re-opened portions of the Gulf intracoastal waterway and the Houston ship channel.
The waterways were closed due to Hurricane Ike.
The ship channel is now open to outbound commercial traffic with drafts of 12 feet or less. The Gulf intracoastal waterway is open from Houston west to Port of Corpus Christi.
All other restrictions remain in place until survey of navigation aids, pollution and other potential problems is complete. The Army Corps of Engineers is surveying for shoaling.
The Port of Houston remains closed today after it was left without electrical power following the storm.

Coast Guard Senior Chief Petty Officer Steve Carleton of the Joint Information Center in Katy said approximately 90 percent of Houston Ship channel navigation aids have been blown off-station or are damaged.
Port of Galveston is under the same Captain of the Port order.
As of 10 a.m. CT there were 70 vessels in the queue at Galveston jetties: 22 general cargo ships, 21 chemical tankers, 14 petroleum carriers, four gas carriers, four ro-ro vessels, three container ships and two cement carriers.
Carleton said that some vessels may be diverted to other ports.
There was no information about damage at the Port of Galveston.

The Port of Houston Authority asked maintenance and operations employees to report to work Monday, to help with clean-up and recovery work following the storm.
The authority reported that its facilities had \"limited negative impact\" from the hurricane, but that it was operating with limited temporary power from generators.
The port was in the process of assessing the availability staff in order to bring its terminals back online as quickly as possible.
The authority also requested administrative staff to report to get their offices back in order so business operations can resume when electricity is restored.
The authority said its operations will not be open to receive trucks for drop-offs or delivery on Monday.
The agency was working with CenterPoint Energy to establish power as soon as possible.
The Coast Guard is conducting waterway assessments to identify areas of concern in the ports of Galveston and Houston and in the Houston ship channel. In addition, the teams will assess aids to navigation to identify any repositioning of buoys.
Capt. Bill Diehl, Sector Houston-Galveston commander, said that while search-and-rescue is the top priority, operations will begin shifting to assessment.
\"We recognize that getting the port [of Houston] open as quickly as possible is a top priority. Once we determine what we need to do to get it re-opened, we will send aids to navigation teams in the reset any buoys that may have been knocked out of position.\"

Noel C. Winger
Sr. Manager, Global Ocean & Air Procurement
Ryder Transportation Management Services
39550 Thirteen Mile Road, 2nd Floor
Novi, MI 48377
Phone: 248-699-7766
Fax: 248-699-2414

D/21 is going to have a lot of cooperative charting to do once we account for all of our members and get them back in their homes!

D/Lt/C Shirley Heald, AP

Shirley D. Heald on 9/15/2008 3:18 PM