AmericasPorts and Logistics

Port Tampa Bay prepares for Hurricane Ian

Port Tampa Bay has been coordinating closely this week with federal, state and local agencies, as well as the maritime community, to prepare for and respond to potential impacts of Hurricane Ian.

Florida residents, particularly on the state’s Gulf of Mexico coast, were told to evacuate to avoid what the National Hurricane Center has described as a “life-threatening” storm. The Port of Tampa Bay is in one of the evacuation zones on that coast.

Hurricane-force winds and storm surge are expected to begin this morning, with tropical storm conditions expected overnight. Devastating wind damage is expected near the core of the hurricane and heavy rainfall in most of Florida will likely cause severe flooding.

The Tampa Bay port community early this week initiated the Port Heavy Weather Advisory Group, which closely monitors impacts to the port and waterways, engages with the Coast Guard and various operators that make up the local maritime community, and makes recommendations to the Coast Guard on hurricane port conditions.

The port has secured waterfront facilities and dock areas to remove debris and hazardous materials. The advisory group made arrangements for vessel traffic, creating queuing for vessels that were required to depart the port. While the port’s waterways are closed, port staff will continue to work to ensure the port can reopen to full operations as soon as safely possible.

In addition to security ahead of the storm, and in line with the port’s emergency management plan, the port has also been preparing to assess damage and recover as quickly as possible to efficiently return to operations.

Finally, the port will ready its subsurface sonar scanning capabilities to assist the Coast Guard and the Army Corps of Engineers as they ensure that waterways are clear of obstructions and hazards after the storm passes.

Kim Biggar

Kim Biggar started writing in the supply chain sector in 2000, when she joined the Canadian Association of Supply Chain & Logistics Management. In 2004/2005, she was project manager for the Government of Canada-funded Canadian Logistics Skills Committee, which led to her 13-year role as communications manager of the Canadian Supply Chain Sector Council. A longtime freelance writer, Kim has contributed to publications including The Forwarder, 3PL Americas, The Shipper Advocate and Supply Chain Canada.
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