Catastrophic Hurricane Dorian shuts US east coast ports


The Hurricane Dorian, graded category 5, slowly inches along its path of destruction. Meteorologists from the U. S. National Hurricane Center have projected the storm will take a right turn from the Bahamas and travel northward along the southeast coast of the US. Ships intending to call at Atlantic seaports on the east coast face great disruption with inbound traffic prohibited at many Florida ports.

On September 1 the extremely strong Hurricane Dorian raged in the Atlantic before finally making landfall in the Bahamas. The islands were battered overnight by one of the worst storms encountered since records began. Storm surges raised water levels in some places by more than 20 feet above normal, roofs were ripped from houses, cars overturned, and power lines destroyed.

The US Coast Guard and maritime partners are continuously strategising port preparations, working to balance the risk to port safety with the need to move commerce and potentially support areas affected by Hurricane Dorian. All incoming vessels, including tugs and barges, have been prohibited from entering Port Everglades, Port of Miami, Port Canaveral, and Port of Jacksonville. As of 2 September, the ports remain closed.

The hurricane is expected to track further north along the shores of North Carolina. Atlantic seaports located there are preparing for closures as well, with shippers expecting disruptions to service. The Ports of Wilmington and Morehead City anticipate closures on 4 September, but are expected to remain open on 2 and 3 September, subject to changes in the forecast. The Port of Charleston is currently open and continues commercial traffic and cargo operations.