Southeast seaports prepare to reopen after Hurricane Irma

Southeast seaports prepare to reopen after Hurricane Irma

Southeast seaports prepare to reopen after Hurricane Irma

Fuel shortages in Florida could last almost a week after Hurricane Irma as stations struggle to resupply.

Port officials say with just "minimal damage and flooding" from the storm they expect the U.S. Coast Guard to reopen Port Tampa Bay sometime Tuesday afternoon.

Fuel trucks begun to make deliveries Tuesday morning to gas stations throughout South Florida.

The river reached its maximum height at 2:45 p.m. September 11, never rising above the level of the docks at the Garden City Terminal, where on normal days cranes lift modular boxes from massive ships.

Many stations were still without power as 70 percent of Seminole County and 50 percent of customers in Orange County are without electricity as of Tuesday morning, according to Florida disaster officials. There are now about 10 ships queued up to the northeast of Savannah, waiting out the storm, he said.

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Florida does not have crude oil refineries and relies on petroleum products delivered by tanker and barge to Florida ports, including Port Tampa Bay, which was closed during the storm.

"That's one of the main challenges after a hurricane", Jenkins said.

Port Everglades, which handles fuel shipments for 12 Florida counties and several worldwide airports, said in a statement that it has reopened to commercial traffic during daylight hours only, with no draft restrictions.

Hurricane Irma, which has caused wind speeds of up to 130mph in the U.S. and the deaths of more than 30 people in the Caribbean and United States, saw the closure of the Garden City, Ocean and Brunswick terminals by Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) last Saturday.

"The port is operating and ready for business", Port Tampa Bay President Paul Anderson said in a statement.

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Tanker trucks started rolling out of Port Tampa Bay Monday to resupply gas stations along heavily traveled highways for returning evacuees.

"Hopefully motorists will be patient, that's really key", DeHaan said.

Getting gas has proven problematic in Florida during Irma.

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