Seaports in Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas were taking varying degrees of restrictive measures as Hurricane Hermine continued its progress north through the region.
The category 1 hurricane, previously Tropical Storm Hermine, made landfall in Florida on Thursday night, early Friday. Hermine is the first hurricane to hit Florida since Hurricane Wilma in 2005.
It brought strong winds and flooding to large areas of Florida’s Gulf coast and knocked out power to thousands of homes.
In Panama City, Florida, the captain of the port banned all incoming and outgoing vessel traffic while the hurricane passed.
US Coast Guard advisories said that there were “no safe havens” in the Florida ports of Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Port Manatee.
The ports of Brunswick and Savannah (both in Georgia) and Charleston in South Carolina will be closed to larger vessels in expectation of tropical storm-force conditions.
Previously, when the course of the then tropical storm seemed likely to take it further west, a number of offshore oil drillers had evacuated non-essential personnel and shut in production on some rigs.
But late on Thursday, as it seemed the waters of the Gulf would escape the worst, some firms – including Anadarko Petroleum and Destin Pipeline – were planning to restore rig and platform crews to full strength.
Forecasts have Hermine continuing to move up the east coast. After Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas it is expected to pass through Virginia, Maryland and New Jersey where it will be weaker but still capable of causing flooding and wind damage.