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Hurricane Beryl makes landfall in Trinidad and Tobago. REUTERS/Andrea De Silva

Waves crash into a sea wall after Hurricane Beryl made landfall, in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago July 1, 2024. REUTERS/Andrea De Silva

Ports Along Texas Coast Close As Tropical Storm Beryl Approaches

Total Views: 1991
July 7, 2024

By Arathy Somasekhar

HOUSTON, July 7 (Reuters) – Ports along the Texas coast started to close or restrict vessel traffic on Sunday to prepare for Tropical Storm Beryl, which was expected to strengthen back to a Category 1 hurricane before hitting the area late in the evening.

The storm, which at one point intensified to a Category 5 hurricane, left a deadly trail of destruction across the Caribbean. It swept through Jamaica, Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, in addition to unleashing heavy rainfall on northern Venezuela.

The port of Corpus Christi said it was closed after condition “Zulu” was set by the Coast Guard captain on Sunday. All vessel movement and cargo operations are restricted as gale force winds were expected within 12 hours.

Corpus Christi, about 200 miles (322 km) from Houston, is the top crude oil export hub in the United States. Port closures could bring a temporary halt to crude oil exports, shipments of crude oil to refineries, and motor fuels from those plants.

Meanwhile the ports of Houston, Galveston, Freeport and Texas City were under condition “Yankee.” With gale force winds were predicted within 24 hours, all inbound vessel traffic was suspended at these ports.

Chemical maker Chemours, which has a production facility near Corpus Christi, said on Sunday it has integrated hurricane preparedness plans, including training and drills, in place to ensure its sites remain safe.

“We continue to closely monitor Beryl’s track and have escalated our hurricane preparedness plans to include planning for safe and adequate staffing during and after the storm and securing our equipment and assets, should the storm make landfall near our site,” the company said in a e-mailed statement.

Read Also: Record-Breaking Sea Temperatures Fuel Hurricane Beryl to Early Season Record

Freeport LNG said it intended to maintain normal operations at its liquefaction facility, adding it will initiate weather emergency response plan if necessary.

Enbridge and Gibson Energy, which operate large crude oil export facilities near Corpus Christi, did not immediately reply to requests for comments on Sunday. They had said they were operational on Friday and Saturday respectively.

Citgo Petroleum Corp was cutting production at its 165,000 barrel-per-day Corpus Christi, Texas, refinery on Saturday, sources said.

Citgo plans to keep the refinery in operation at minimum production during passage of Beryl to the east of Corpus Christi on Sunday, the sources added.

Some oil producers, including Shell SHEL.Land Chevron CVX.N, had also evacuated personnel from their Gulf of Mexico offshore production platforms ahead of the storm.

(Reporting by Arathy Somasekhar, Erwin Seba, Marianna Parraga in Houston; additional reporting by Curtis Willaims in Houston, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2024.

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