Georgia ports will reopen “as quickly as possible”

11 Sep 2017
Hurricane Irma

Hurricane Irma has caused wind speeds of up to 130mph in the US. Image courtesy of NASA/Wikimedia

The Ports of Savannah and Brunswick are expected to remain closed until at least Wednesday following Hurricane Irma’s impact.

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

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal issued a mandatory evacuation order effective Saturday for Coastal Georgia, following which, GPA executive director, Griff Lynch, said: "The safety of our employees and partners in the maritime community is our highest concern.

“We encourage GPA staff and our neighbors to heed Governor Deal's warning and evacuate ahead of the storm."

Zulu condition

On Sunday, the Coast Guard Captain of the Port (COTP) set port condition Zulu for the ports.

The storm’s gale force winds, which hit Florida over the weekend, has caused flooding and infrastructure damage which could stretch into billions.

On its website GPA stated that the opening of the GPA terminals is dependent on the Hurricane path and post facilities assessment.

Damage assessment

Mr Lynch said: “"Our terminals in Savannah and Brunswick play a vital role in customer supply lines," Lynch said. "After the hurricane passes, we are committed to assessing any damage and getting our ports back up and running as quickly as possible."

The cruise ports of Miami and Port Everglades are scheduled to open on Tuesday, allowing Royal Caribbean and Carnival to resume sailings out of Florida.

Currently, Miami, Port Everglades, Port Canaveral, Palm Beach, Tampa Bay, JaxPort and Key West are closed.

Florida and Georgia have been affected the most by the hurricane, however, South Carolina was also given a storm warning.