US Houston Ship Channel reopens after weather halts inbound traffic

Author: Adam Yanelli


HOUSTON (ICIS)--Vessel traffic through the Houston Ship Channel resumed early on Monday after thunderstorms on Sunday limited vessel movement to inbound ships.

High winds associated with heavy thunderstorms on Sunday dislodged the booms used to contain chemicals that spilled into the waterway, following a fire at the Intercontinental Terminals Company's (ITC) Deer Park facility in La Porte, Texas.

The ITC said on its website that all boat clean-up operations and work on damaged tanks at the facility ceased at 10:00 hours Houston time (15:00 hours GMT) on Sunday.

The channel was then closed to outbound traffic, as vessels leaving the channel must be inspected and decontaminated, if needed.

A spokesman with the Houston Pilots said there were 28 arrivals on Sunday, and two-way traffic resumed on Monday.

As of mid-afternoon on Monday, there were 30 vessels waiting to enter the channel and 26 waiting to depart.

While vessel traffic through the channel has yet to return to normal, the number of vessels in the queue is down from 5 April, when there were 40 arrivals awaiting entrance.

Visit the ICIS topic page to view related stories and content covering the fire at the Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC) Deer Park facility in Texas and its impact.