Hurricanes Harvey and Irma Impact Report


Executive Summary-Hurricane Harvey


There continues to be substantial progress in the Harvey recovery process. There is a sense of most things generally returning to ‘normal’ in all but the most seriously affected areas. Other areas are recovering too. Food, gasoline, and general supplies are making their way back on to store shelves.

West Houston is still impacted as are arterial roads in that area. Beltway 8 (Sam Houston HWY) on the west side of Houston still has sections that are closed. This is forcing all traffic coming into West Houston to take I-10 and as a result traffic conditions on I-10 are poor during commute hours. One employee was in traffic for three hours coming to work from the west side to the east side of Houston.

U.S. Gulf Shipping Impacts & Information

Corpus Christi Port Area

On today’s stakeholder’s conference call, it was reported.

  • The Captain of the Port (COTP), Sector Corpus Christi advised that the following restrictions apply in this area:
  • The Port of Brownsville is open with no restrictions.
  • The Port of Corpus Christi is open with the following restrictions:
  1. All vessels are restricted to a draft not to exceed 43' and are to coordinate closely with the Aransas-Corpus Christi Pilots to avoid, if possible, any meeting or overtaking situations.
  2. All vessels must conduct one-way transits only and transit during daylight hours only.
  3. All vessels over 500 feet, vessels over 15,000 gross registered tons, and all vessels over 30' draft must have a minimum of 2 pilots for each transit.
  • The Calhoun Port Authority/Matagorda Ship Channel is open with the following restrictions:
  • All vessels are restricted to a draft not to exceed 31' and are to coordinate closely with the Matagorda Bay Pilots to avoid, if possible, any meeting or overtaking situations.
  • All foreign registered vessels 100 gross tons or larger, all domestic tank vessels 10,000 gross registered tons or larger, and all domestic non-tank vessels 1,600 gross registered tons or larger must conduct one-way transits only and transit during daylight hours only.
  • The Gulf Intracoastal Waterway is open between Mile Marker 540 (Corpus Christi) West to Mile Marker 668 (Brownsville).
  • The Gulf Intracoastal Waterway is open between Mile Marker 465 (Matagorda Bay) West to Milk Marker 540 (Corpus Christi) with all vessels restricted to a draft not to exceed 11'.
  • The Port of Victoria/Victoria Barge Canal is open with the following restrictions:
  1. All vessels are restricted to a draft not to exceed 10'.
  2. All vessels are restricted to transit during daylight only, 7:00 am to 7:00 pm due to Union Pacific Railroad Bridge restrictions.
  3. Transit is restricted to within the Victoria Barge Canal.


USCG Sector Corpus Christi advised they stood down their Incident Command Post (ICP) except for the Pollution ICP. A waterways team will be activated today to continue work on Aids to Navigation (ATON and dredging coordination issues.

ATON is restoration is going well in Matagorda Ship Channel. 220 of 368 aids have been corrected or restored. They are moving quickly to restore as many aids as possible, as soon as possible

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers advised that a dredging contract has been extended for 30 days for the Corpus Christi Ship Channel. An independent contract is in place for dredging the Matagorda Ship Channel.



Houston/Galveston Port Areas

On today’s stakeholder’s conference call, it was reported.

National Weather Service (NWS) advised that the weather forecast for the area looks good. Winds will be north to northeast at 10-15 knots gusting 15-20 knots with seas 2-4 feet through the weekend and into Monday or Monday night. Galveston Bay area currents continue to decrease.

Hurricane Katia is not expected to affect the Texas coast. Hurricane Irma is still expected to make landfall in Florida this weekend and Hurricane Jose is still expected to stay out in the Atlantic.

 The following is a summary of restrictions as of 0600 Thursday, 07 September 2017:

  • Galveston Bay Entrance Channel, Outer Bar Channel, Inner Bar Channel and Bolivar Roads Channel are open 24/7.
  • Galveston Harbor is open 24/7.
  • Texas City is open 24/7.
  • Bolivar Roads Anchorages are open 24/7 - Short duration use for bunkering, inspections and other husbandry.
  • The Houston Ship Channel is open 24/7 below Sidney Sherman Bridge with draft restrictions;
  1. Entrance Channel to Baytown Highlines - maximum 42';
  2. Baytown Highlines to Shell - maximum 41';
  3. Shell to Houston Cement West - maximum 40';
  4. Houston Cement West to Sidney Sherman Bridge - maximum 36'
  • Houston Ship Channel transits between the Sidney Sherman Bridge and Buffalo Bayou require prior approval by VTS Houston/Galveston.
  • Intracoastal Waterway Open 24/7 High Island to Brazos Floodgates.
  • Port of Freeport is open 24/7 to maximum 38' draft.


Houston Area Terminal Status Reports


  • Exxon Baytown: Both crude docks (#5 & #6) are up and running.  Docks #1, #2 &#3 (diesel, chemical and lubes) are down due to replacing the dock fenders. 
  • Houston Fuel Oil: All three of their crude docks (#1,2&3) are operational and have/had ships berth since the channel reopened.  However, dock #4 (Fuel Oil dock) has not had any activity. 
  • ITC:  Working normally
  • Vopak: Working normally
  • Enterprise: Working normally
    Stolthaven: Working normally
  • Shell DP: Do not have info on this terminal at this time.  Perhaps Shell will know more from their side already.
  • Magellan: Terminal is down and they would not advise the reason why or when they will open back up.
  • Targa: Working normally
  • Kinder Morgan GP: Working normally
  • Contanda (ex. Westway): The Channel is closed past the Sidney Sherman Bridge where this terminal is located so no activity at this terminal since the hurricane.


The biggest short-term issue is the sunken dry dock at Brady's Island. 



Galveston Area Terminal Status Reports


All terminals in Galveston, Texas City and Freeport are operational and accepting ships 24/7, subject to the draft restrictions noted above and below:

  • Galveston Bay Entrance Channel, Outer Bar Channel, Inner Bar Channel and Bolivar Roads Channel are open 24/7.
  • Bolivar Roads Anchorages are open 24/7 - Short duration use for bunkering, inspections and other husbandry matters.
  • Port of Freeport is open 24/7 to maximum 38' draft.

USCG Sector Houston advised that Houston/Galveston area ATON restoration is expected to be 100% complete soon. 

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) reported that survey data north of Brady's Landing to the Upper Turning Basin will be posted to their website this morning. There is shoaling with depths around 9 feet in the Inter-Coastal Waterway and contracts are being put in place to take care of that. Dredging is ongoing and the Freeport effort will be complete sometime next week.

Beaumont/Port Arthur/Orange Texas Port Area

Today’s stake holder’s conference call revealed the following:

Sabine Pilots advised that the channel was opened as of 1530/05th with limited restrictions. Current channel draft is restricted to 34' fresh water. Air draft has been reduced to 132' at the MLK bridge. They are moving vessels on a case-by-case basis with restrictions. Water currents continue to be the biggest short-term problem.

The Captain of the Port (COTP) reported that restrictions are based on channel surveys and visual assessments; "aids-to-navigation" (ATON) assessments; river stage and current data (e.g. PORTS, stakeholder reports). Extreme currents require the implementation of navigation restrictions. The following restrictions are in effect on the Sabine-Neches Waterway:

  • Vessels greater than 500 gross tons (GT) are limited to daylight hours only above the Neches River Intersection.
  • A draft restriction of 34-feet is in place for all waters of the Sabine-Neches Waterway.
  • Inland towing vessels (push boats) shall ensure they have sufficient horsepower for the tow configuration given the reported currents.
  • Due to extreme currents, no meeting or overtaking will be allowed at the Neches River Intersection. VTS Port Arthur will coordinate arrival at intersections with each vessel. Confirm approval before proceeding beyond your ability to hold position.
  • Neches River: tows limited to two loads. Exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis. Concerned traffic should contact VTS Port Arthur via channels 01A or 65A VHF-FM or by phone at (409) 719-5070.
  • West Port Arthur Bridge: no restrictions. 


USCG VTS reported that they continue to move vessel traffic within the parameters of the restrictions. Things are “looking good” and the USCG will reassess restrictions once they have received and reviewed all surveys. No significant shoaling has been noted to date. They are seeing an inland traffic backup around Mile Mark 245 due to the sunken tow vessel.

in the Inter-Coastal Waterway (ICW) between Mile Mark 244 and 246 in Calcasieu Parish, LA Restrictions are in place to protect mariners from hazards posed by the partially sunken tow vessel SAVAGE INGENUITY. Those restrictions are:

  • -Tows permitted to transit during daylight hours only.
  • -Light boats may transit at night at minimum speed.
  • -Tows permitted to transit through the safety zone are limited to a maximum of 2 barges (loaded or empty) strung out.
  • -Tows permitted to transit through the safety zone shall proceed at minimum speed to maintain steerage.
  • -Vessels unable to transit through the affected waterway are advised to seek an alternate destination.


U.S. Army Corps of Engineers:  Cross-section channel depth surveys are being done again today. By Saturday they will have completed all of the cross-section surveys. Most of the surveys are now complete and data is being compiled and posted on the website.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (USCBP) Port Arthur office remains closed. Please contact the CBP Houston office at 713-454-8002 for questions related to Port Arthur vessel processing. They are in the process of moving their resources to a new location in Beaumont. They will publish a contact number when it is available. As of right now they are conducting boardings during daylight hours. 

Port of Port Arthur reported they are doing really well. Their first vessel should complete cargo operations tonight. They are at almost 100% operational status.

Port of Beaumont reported that once they are able to sail the vessel at the Orange dock, they are going to try to do a dock condition survey. They are concerned about the stress the vessel has been placing on the dock.

Lake Charles, Louisiana Port Area

ALL terminals in Lake Charles are fully operational including crude oil refining, bulk terminals, refined petroleum products, breakbulk, etc.

Customs – operating with 100% staff

Pilots – operating with 100% staff

USCG – operating with 100% staff

USCG Captain of the Port order is still in effect restricting vessels to a 37’ Fresh Water draft for inbound and outbound transit

Lake Charles Pilots are back to normal operations “as original orders were received”

The only issue for Lake Charles and the surrounding areas covered by the Lake Charles office is that we have not been able to accommodate on/off-signing crew at local hotels as the hotels are completely full and overbooked with displaced families and local corporation’s staff.

Mississippi River Ports Status

All ports in this area are operating normally without storm related restrictions.

Pascagoula and Gulfport, Mississippi Port Area Status

All terminals and port docks in this area are operating normally and without storm related restrictions.

Mobile, Alabama Port Status

All terminals and port docks in this area are operating normally and without storm related restrictions.




Harvey-Electricity Sector Impacts (as of 1430 EDT)

No formal updates on this information were available today. It is known that Outages from Harvey have diminished substantially, There are still some pockets of outages where damage from Harvey where the hurricane made landfall and in small sectors of Houston, as well as in Beaumont/Pt. Arthur areas. These remaining areas are being addressed.

Harvey-Oil and Natural Gas Sector Impacts (as of 1430 EDT)

  • Six refineries in the Gulf Coast region were shut down.
  • One refinery that previously began restarting has shut down due to electrical issues since the last report.
  • These refineries have a combined refining capacity of 1,395,000 b/d, equal to 14.4% of total Gulf Coast refining capacity and 7.5% of total U.S. refining capacity. 
  • Five refineries are in the process of restarting after being shut down. This process may take several days or weeks to start producing product, depending whether any damage is found during restart. Production should be assumed to be minimal until restart is completed. These refineries have a combined capacity 1,819,199 b/d, equal to 18.8% of total Gulf Coast refining capacity and 9.8% of total U.S. refining capacity.
  • At least six refineries in the Gulf Coast region were operating at reduced rates. These refineries have a combined total capacity of 1,513,776 b/d, equal to 15.6% of total Gulf Coast refining capacity and 8.2% of total U.S. refining capacity. (
  • No refineries that were operating at reduced rates began operating at normal rates since the last report. 




Executive Summary-Hurricane Irma

As of 2:00 PM EDT, Irma was 65 miles north-northeast of Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic and 70 miles southeast of Grand Turk Island, moving west-northwest at 16 MPH, with maximum sustained winds of 175 MPH (category 5). Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 60 miles and tropical storm-force winds extend up to 185 miles from the center.

On the forecast track, the eye of Irma should continue to move just north of the coast of Hispaniola today, be near the Turks and Caicos and southeastern Bahamas by this evening, be near the Central Bahamas by Friday, and should be between Cuba and Andros, Bahamas on Saturday morning. Irma is then forecast to turn north and will likely impact Florida. Southern Florida is likely to begin experiencing tropical storm-force winds early Saturday with the center of the storm potentially approaching Florida Sunday morning.

Irma is expected to produce storm surges of 5 to 10 feet for Southern Florida, and 15 to 20 feet for the Turks & Caicos southeastern & central Bahamas. The northwestern Bahamas can expect 4 to 7 feet of storm surge, while Hispaniola can expect 1 to 5 feet along the northern shore.

The Miami shorelines in Biscayne Bay are subject to serious storm surge as apparently historical hurricanes on the same path as Irma drive water up Biscayne Bay towards the north and the water cannot exit fast enough in the north end of the bay causing additional build-up.

Hurricane warnings and watches now in effect those countries and areas the projected path of Irma.

Evacuations in the Florida Keys and coastal areas on the eastern side of Florida’s south coast have begun. Evacuation areas will be expanded east and north as the forecasted path is narrowed. As Irma is 400 miles wide it has the ability to impact the entire width of Florida as it moves north. People are taking the evacuation orders seriously, but there are thousands and thousands of people that need to move in a short space of time.

Gasoline retailers are having trouble keeping up with demand due to most of South Florida trying to drive on highways north. All levels of government and industry are working to streamline everything they can to get supplies to these retailers to facilitate evacuations.

Caribbean, Florida, and U.S. Southeast Ports

Damage assessments have begun in the Leeward Islands, but ports in the area remain closed and may be closed until Saturday, or later if obstructions are found in shipping channels.

U.S. Virgin Islands

Ports closed until likely Saturday as clean-up and assessments of damage are competed.

We have heard from our staff on St. Croix who advise: “We still do not have power and it could be Saturday before that is restored. We are monitoring emails and responding as best we can from cellphones. 

We have received word verbally from the local USCG that the port will not open before 14:00 Saturday. We have advised all vessel's currently waiting, to amend their ENOA and arrivals accordingly. This is of course subject to hurricane Jose that is now crossing the Atlantic.

The Limetree Bay Terminal (LBT), which is our only liquid bulk facility on island advised: ‘Hurricane IRMA passed the facility yesterday. LBT sustained only minor wind damage and no major rain fall. A small group of critical Incident Command Staff and a Ride Out Crew remained on site throughout and there were no injuries or incidents. We are commencing a thorough cleanup and assessment of the facility with staff on site today. The island remains under curfew and not all personnel are able to report to work. The USCG remains at Port Condition “ZULU”. We will conduct the Harbor and Aids to Navigation Survey this morning and report to the USCG. We are currently monitoring Hurricane JOSE which is expected to pass the island on Saturday into Sunday. Once we have an estimated time of harbor opening we will advise.”

All Puerto Rico Ports and the U.S. Virgin Islands

At  1800 AST on Thursday, September 7th, 2017 the USCG Captain of the Port San Juan has implemented the following port restrictions for ports in Puerto Rico and  the U .S. Virgin Islands.

Open with No Restrictions:

  • San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • Ponce, Puerto Rico
  • Guayan illa, Puerto Rico
  • Tallaboa, Puerto Rico
  • Guanica, Puerto Rico
  • Salinas, Puerto Rico
  • Vieques, Puerto Rico
  • Yabucoa, Puerto Rico
  • Limetree Bay, St. Croix USVI
  • Krause Lagoon, St. Croix USVI

Open with Restrictions:

  • Mayaguez, Puerto Rico
    • Only to Tug and Barges
    • No ships greater than 500 GT
    • No Deep Draft vessels
  • Guayama, Puerto Rico
    • Daylight only
  • Christiansted, St.Croix
    • Daylight only

The ports of St. Thomas (All); Cruz Bay, St. John; Fredericksted, St. Croix; Culebra, Puerto Rico·and Arecibo, Puerto Rico will remain in Port Readiness Condition ZULU (CLOSED).

Damage assessments are ongoing.

Florida Ports


Port Condition Whiskey. Open with restrictions.

Port Everglades          

Port Condition X-Ray set. Yankee on 08 Sept.

This port will continue to accept cargoes including fuels through 9/07. Port will suspend operations as of 8pm on 9/08. USCG COTP had issued notice on 06 Sept. that Port Everglades has gasoline reserves of at least one week stored on site.

Palm Beach    

Port Condition Whiskey. Open with restrictions

Key West

Port Condition Yankee set. Zulu is expected 08 Sept.

St. Petersburg/Port Manatee

Port Condition X-Ray set. Open with restrictions


Port Condition X-Ray set. Open with restrictions

Port Canaveral

Port Condition X-Ray. Open with restrictions


Port Condition Whiskey. Open with restrictions


Open no restrictions

Panama City

Open no restrictions

South Carolina Ports


Open. No restrictions



Port Condition Whiskey. Open with restrictions.  09/07/17

North Carolina




Norfolk/Hampton Roads


The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)

The DOE is closely monitoring the storm and ESF #12 responders have been prepositioned with FEMA Incident Management Assistance Teams (IMAT) in Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, and St. Croix. ESF #12 responders are also deployed to both the FEMA Region II and IV Coordination Centers.

Irma Electricity Sector Summary (as of 11:00 AM EDT)

  • The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) is reporting 1,044,289 customer outages (66% of total customers).
  • DOE is working with Puerto Rico, the Electricity Sub-Sector, and FEMA to help facilitate the movement of mutual aid crews to the island, if needed, after the storm has
  • As of 11:00 AM EDT Thursday, S. Virgin Island Water and Power Authority (WAPA) reported that all customers on the islands of St. Thomas (19,581 customers) and St. John (2,893) are without power.
  • As of 11:00 AM EDT Thursday, the island of Croix has 9,080 customer outages.
  • Damage assessments and restorations efforts have begun across the impacted
  • Utilities in the storm path are monitoring the storm and activating their response plans in preparation for response and restoration


Irma Oil and Natural Gas Sector Summary (as of 2:30 PM EDT)

DOE is working with the Energy Information Administration to assess potential impacts to the oil and gas sector from Hurricane Irma. As of the August 25 Weekly Petroleum Status Report, stocks of gasoline on the East Coast were at near the top end of the 5-year range.

Hurricane watches and storm surge watches are now in effect for portions of South Florida from Jupiter Inlet southward to Bonita beach and the Florida Keys. Hurricane warnings remain in effect for Bahamas and the northern coasts of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Hurricane watches and tropical storm warnings extend to outlying areas, including Cuba.





Florida Oil Terminal and Pipeline Assets Map

Below is a map of key petroleum ports and petroleum product pipelines in Florida that could be impacted by Irma.

Map of Irma’s Projected Path



Port Conditions Whiskey and X-ray (W & X)

The measures taken for Port Conditions Whiskey and X-Ray are the same with the exception of the deadlines for submitting “Remaining In Port Checklists”.  The date and time that the checklists must be submitted by will be made known through U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Information Broadcasts (MSIB’s).

To enter, transit or remain within this safety zone, vessels must comply with the following requirements:

  • Report Intentions to Marine Safety Office: All commercial vessels and ocean-going barges greater than 500 gross tons must advise the Captain of the Port of their intent to remain in port or depart.
  • Closure of Departure/Arrival Windows: Ocean-going ships and barges over 500 gross tons departing the port must depart no later than 12 hours prior to the arrival of gale force winds.
  • Cargo Operations/Bunkering: All transfer operations shall cease upon arrival of sustained 40 mph winds.
  • Smaller Commercial Vessels Not Restricted by Draft: Smaller commercial vessels not restricted by draft, including fishing vessels, are asked to seek shelter outside the deep draft shipping channels and turning areas.

Port Condition Yankee (Y)

No vessels may enter, transit or remain within this safety zone without the permission of the USCG Captain of the Port. The following additional requirements are in effect:

Cease Cargo Operations: All transfer of cargo operations shall cease when wind speeds reach 40 mph.

Vessels Desiring to Depart Port Must Arrange Immediate Departure: Movement of all vessels and barges over 500 gross tons desiring to depart the port must contact the Captain of the Port to arrange immediate departure.

All Vessels Must be at a Mooring Site and Follow Approved Remaining in Port Checklists: All commercial vessels and barges greater than 500 GT remaining in port must be at their mooring site in accordance with their “Remaining in Port Checklist” as approved by the Captain of the Port.

Smaller Commercial Vessels Not Restricted by Draft: Smaller vessels not restricted by draft, including fishing vessels, are asked to seek shelter outside the deep draft shipping channels and turning areas.

Vessels Bound for This Port: Vessels bound for this port are advised to seek an alternate destination.

Within 12 hours of expected gale force winds from, the COTP will set Port Condition Zulu. Future Port Conditions are set contingent upon the storm’s course and speed. Should the hurricane increase in speed, Condition Zulu may be set sooner.

Condition Zulu

This means the Port Status is Closed

All movements require Captain of the Port approval. Hurricane landfall is t








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