Houston: The Houston Ship Channel suffered another shutdown, this time due to fog, on Thursday afternoon just hours after traffic resumed following a three-day partial closure of the Channel.
A vital 50-mile waterway that links several of Houston’s refineries and other port facilities to the Gulf of Mexico, the Channel reopened to all traffic again on Friday after the fog cleared.
Dockworkers at the Port of Houston’s largest container terminal, Barbours Cut, were “all hands on deck” and working feverishly to clear a backlog of containers, said a Port spokesman.
A total of around 70 ships, both incoming and outgoing, had been stranded while the US Coast Guard worked to make the waterway safe.
Disruption to shipping occurred in the first half of the week when a collision between a tanker carrying a gasoline additive MTBE and a bulk ship carrying steel, led to a spillage of the chemical.
It took several days for coast guard and salvage teams to make the liquid cargo safe and remove the tanker, the Danish-flagged Carla Maersk (44,999 dwt, built 1999).
Federal body the National Transportation Safety Board is investigating why the Carla Maersk collided with Liberian bulker carrier Condi Peridot (57,001 dwt, built 2011). Its probe is expected to take a year.The Houston Ship Channel suffered another shutdown, this time due to fog, on Thursday afternoon just hours after traffic resumed following a three-day partial closure of the waterway.