Freight News, Sea

Port Canaveral Irma Update

[ September 15, 2017   //   ]

Port Canaveral is continuing to make progress towards regaining full operational capability. U.S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port (COTP) late September 12 (Tuesday) set Hurricane Condition Four in the Port and approved restricted commercial vessel transit through Port Canaveral. The Hurricane Condition Four remains in effect today for Port Canaveral due to issues related to the port infrastructure, specifically the degraded water supply.

These limitations affect the Port’s firefighting capability, availability of safe drinking water, and sanitation facilities. Furthermore, conditions of the waterways and port infrastructure are still unknown, and full assessments of the affected areas are still being conducted. The Coast Guard will enforce a temporary safety zone for these post-storm recovery operations.

“Today, we had two homeported cruise ships in Port for debark and embark operations involving 14,300 passengers.  This went quickly and smoothly thanks to the efforts and coordination between the Coast Guard, our Port staff, Brevard County Sheriff’s, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection,” said Port CEO John Murray.  “Returning the Port to normal operations has been hampered by the loss of power and failure of the City of Cocoa water system which supplies the Port.  While we continue to make significant progress, public safety is a top concern for all of us.”

Port Canaveral is continuing to assess the damage to its facilities and grounds from Hurricane Irma. Although initial inspection reports indicated mostly cosmetic damage to Port structures, along with significant debris removal requirements, the Port’s Jetty Park Pier, campground and beach sustained significant damage from Hurricane Irma and is closed to public access indefinitely.

Port Canaveral has had limited operations capability due to lack of water and intermittent electric power. Business owners and operators in Port Canaveral have been returning to their facilities today to complete damage assessments and conduct initial recovery and clean up operations.  However, commercial operations at Port Canaveral will continued to be hampered until the public water supply is fully restored by the City of Cocoa, and assured to be stable and safe for consumption and sanitation.

“Our ability to support the critical fuel needs of Florida has been a constant priority for us. Seaport Canaveral has been operating at 100 percent since yesterday. We had a fuel tanker vessel arrive at berth yesterday afternoon, and two more tanker vessels are on their way here. Between 10:00 AM yesterday and 3:00 PM today, 385 trucks were loaded and moved through the terminal to deliver gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel throughout the state,” said Capt. Murray.  “This could not be possible without the ability to provide firefighting and fire suppression capabilities for the offloading operations.  Without reliable water supplies from the City of Cocoa water system, Canaveral Fire Rescue has been able to deploy and establish critically necessary capabilities using water tankers and pump operations which involve running fire hose lines across some Port roadways that will impact traffic flows on the East end of the Port.”

Under Hurricane Condition Four, unless authorized by the U.S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port (COTP), all vessels, regardless of size or service, are prohibited from transiting Port Canaveral. Vessels desiring to transit through a regulated area may contact the COTP Jacksonville via telephone at (904) 714-7557, to request authorization. If authorization to transit through a regulated area is granted by the COTP Jacksonville, all vessels receiving such authorization must comply with the instructions of the COTP Jacksonville or a designated representative.

On Thursday, Carnival Cruise Lines’ Carnival Liberty will board passengers for a scheduled cruise and on Friday and Saturday, Disney Cruise Lines will board passengers for Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy scheduled cruises. Cruise passengers scheduled to depart Port Canaveral are advised to check with their cruise lines to confirm details of their ship arrival and departure.