US Ports Brace for Hurricane Michael

The Unites States Coast Guard has set Port Condition Zulu in the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway east of Perdido Pass, Port of Panama City and Port of Pensacola in anticipation of the Hurricane Michael, closing the ports to all inbound and outbound traffic.

The Coast Guard set port condition X-ray for ports in Georgia, South Carolina, and all other terminals and facilities Tuesday.

These ports and facilities are currently open to all commercial traffic and all transfer operations may continue while X-ray remains in effect.

The extremely dangerous category 4 storm Michael is gaining in strength as it heads northward toward Florida Panhandle. The storm is packing heavy rainfall and sustained gale force winds and is expected to make landfall on Wednesday, October 11.

Oil majors such as Chevron, Anadarko and BHP Billton have evacuated personnel from 75 platforms from the Gulf of Mexico, cutting daily crude oil production by 40 percent, Reuters reported.

About 670,800 barrels of oil and 726 million cubic feet of natural gas of daily production was shut by midday on Tuesday, data from the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) shows.

Royal Caribbean’s cruise ship Empress of the Seas has reportedly got caught into the storm, which tossed it around while underway southwest of Isla de la Juventud, Cuba, CNN informed.

The ship is said to had waited for the storm to move through the Yucatan Channel.  No injuries to the passengers have been reported.

The ship is now heading toward Hawana, Cuba, based on its latest AIS data.

World Maritime News Staff