US Gulf Coast Ports Brace for Tropical Storm Nate

In anticipation of the tropical storm Nate’s arrival on the United States Gulf Coast, the US Coast Guard has set port condition X-Ray for New Orleans sector.

Due to the lack of available space in the Lower Mississippi River, the Captain of the Port has closed the river to all inbound vessels that do not have berth arrangements confirmed by the appropriate pilot.

“Ports and mariners are cautioned that the COTP New Orleans may quickly set Port Condition Yankee and further conditions as the situation develops. The COTP anticipates setting Port Condition Yankee at 4:00 p.m. local time, October 06, 2017,” the Coast Guard said.

The traffic in Egmont Channel has been restricted to one way for vessels with drafts greater than 34 feet.

Port condition Whiskey was set for the ports of Tampa, St Petersburg and Manatee and the entire Captain of the Port Zone Mobile, including Gulf Intercoastal Waterway (GICWW), Port of Panama City, Port of Pensacola, Port of Mobile, Port of Pascagoula and Port of Gulfport.

Vessels bound for any of these ports, which would be unable to depart if weather conditions worsen are advised to seek alternate destination as these ports may be closed to inbound traffic.

The tropical storm Nate which has already proven deadly in South America, killing at least ten people in Costa Rica and Nicaragua, is expected to make landfall on Lousiana, United States on Saturday and is likely to transform into a category 1 hurricane.

“The tropical cyclone is forecast to strengthen as it moves over the Gulf of Mexico and could threaten the northern Gulf Coast as a category one hurricane this weekend,” the US National Hurricane Center said.

Exxon Mobil Corp and Statoil are among producers who have evacuated staff from their offshore drilling platforms in the Gulf, in anticipation of the approaching storm. BP Plc and Chevron Corp are reported to have suspended work at all Gulf platforms, while Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Anadarko Petroleum Corp suspended some production and some drilling activity in the Gulf, Reuters informed.

World Maritime News Staff

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