Container terminals at Port Houston, the busiest port on the Gulf Coast, will be closed today as Nicholas makes it way up the Texas coast.
An 8:15 a.m. update from Port Houston said all terminals will remain closed due to continued effects of Hurricane Nicholas and widespread power outages. This includes Turning Basin Terminal, Barbours Cut, and Bayport Container Terminals.
Vessel operations are expected to resume tonight at 7 p.m. with normal operations resuming Wednesday.
Nicholas reached hurricane-force Monday night before making landfall early Tuesday morning along the Texas coastline about 10 miles west-southwest of Sargent Beach with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph, a Category 1 hurricane.
At 10 a.m. CDT, the center of Tropical Storm Nicholas was located inland over Texas about 10 miles southeast of Houston and moving to the northeast near 6 mph. NOAA Doppler weather radar and surface observations indicate that maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 45 mph with higher gusts.
A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for Port Bolivar Texas to Sabine Pass, including Galveston Bay where a 2-4 foot surge was expected. A Tropical Storm Warning remained in effect for High Island Texas, just north of the Houston area.
The ports of Freeport, Galveston, Houston and Texas on Tuesday were open with restrictions, according to the Coast Guard.
Similar to ports on the U.S. West and East Coasts, Port Houston has been experiencing record cargo volumes. The port eked out its busiest month ever in July handling 297,621 TEUs for a 27% year-over-year.
In late July, the port’s two container terminals, Bayport and Barbours Cut, suffered from a hardware failure of its terminal operating system that disrupted operations for as many as 3 days.
Nicholas was producing tropical storm-force winds, heavy rain and storm surges as it made its way up the Texas coast on Monday, dealing another blow to U.S. Gulf Coast energy interests still reeling from Hurricane Ida earlier this month.
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