Key railroad carriers in US Southeast moving to restore service after Irma; Charleston, Savannah ports reopen; Jacksonville, Miami shut

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Key railroad carriers in US Southeast moving to restore service after Irma; Charleston, Savannah ports reopen; Jacksonville, Miami shut

September 12, 2017 - 18:22
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OAKLAND, CA, Sept. 12, 2017 (RISI) -Major railroads and ports in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina were reporting progress toward restarting operations following impacts from Tropical Storm Irma over the weekend.

Rail carrier Norfolk Southern said Sept 12 efforts were underway to restore service to areas impacted by the storm such as removing trees from the tracks and assessing overall track conditions. 

“Routes are being restored to service as it is safe to do so, and NS has started to meter in traffic accordingly,” the company said in a notice to customers. “Regional flooding and power outages continue to affect the areas impacted by the storm.”

“Once service is restored to affected routes, customers should continue to expect delays of 48 to 72 hours for traffic moving through and to all areas that have been impacted by the storm,” NS said. The region is mostly served by NS and CSX railroads.

“CSX assessment and recovery efforts from the extensive impact of Hurricane Irma are currently underway,” the carrier said Sept. 11. “Several areas remain without commercial power and continue to have flooding associated with storm surge and downed trees. CSX engineering crews are assessing the full impact on network infrastructure across impacted regions where and when it is safe to do so.”

The Port of Charleston, SC, said gates and container marshalling yards opened on Sept. 12, “and are fully operational for the receipt and delivery of loads, empties and refrigerated cargo.”

“The Georgia Ports Authority, which operates port facilities in Savannah and Brunswick reported on the storm impact Sept. 11 and said vessel operations would resume Sept 12 at 7 pm.

“At approximately 2:45 this afternoon the Savannah River crested below our docks at the Garden City Terminal, and we are happy to report no water damage as a result of the storm. In addition, hurricane straps installed on our empty containers and ship-to-shore cranes prevented any cargo, crane or other infrastructure damage. Assessment of our other facilities including Brunswick are currently under way.”

The Port of Jacksonville, FL, said it remained closed to vessel traffic on Sept 12.

“The U.S. Coast Guard is currently assessing the condition of the Jacksonville harbor and port facilities following Hurricane Irma,” the port said.

The Port of Miami also remained closed Sept 12.

“Upon conclusion of side sonar underwater inspections by NOAA we will update the public as to the opening of PortMiami’s navigational channels,” the port said.