With HURRICANE IDALIA expected to rapidly intensify into a major hurricane before landfall somewhere along the northern Gulf Coast of Florida Wednesday morning, ports in the region are preparing for the arrival of inclement weather. Port Tampa Bay has closed all waterways, but the port’s landside operations remain open to ensure gas and other fuels can be moved out of the port as long as remains safe to do so. The U.S. Coast Guard has set port condition ZULU, indicating the possibility of gale force winds (34-47 knots) entering Tampa Bay in the next 12 hours. “The port’s shipping channels may have closed, but our landslide operations continue as the storm approaches. Port staff is assisting our fuel terminal operators to move gas out of our port and to consumers who may need it as the storm  approaches,” said Port Tampa Bay CEO Paul Anderson. “Port Tampa Bay provides nearly half of Florida’s fuel supply, and  we take our role in hurricane recovery seriously.” 

Hurricane Idalia photo

Graphic courtesy: National Hurricane Center

On the Atlantic Coast of Florida, the Port of Jacksonville (JAXPORT) remains open and operational but is planned to close  Tuesday night. The U.S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port has set port condition YANKEE as noon today. JAXPORT  anticipates reopening on Thursday, pending storm impacts and once federal reopening safety protocols are completed. 

Hurricane Idalia

                                      Credit: Florida Ports Council

To the north, the Georgia Ports Authority says it is operating under normal conditions in anticipation of tropical storm conditions. The Port of Savannah is currently open and operating normally, and the expectation is that it will open and working on Wednesday. However, vessel activity is expected to end Tuesday night. The Coast Guard has set port condition YANKEE for  both Savannah and Brunswick. South Carolina ports, including the Port of Charleston, remained open as of Tuesday after- noon. The Coast Guard has set port condition X-RAY.


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