U.S.: Crowley issues Hurricane Matthew update

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U.S.: Crowley issues Hurricane Matthew update

Click here for for importers' views on how the hurricane could affect the fruit trade on the U.S. East Coast. 

Crowley Maritime Corporation expects disruptions to many of its services as a result of Hurricane Matthew, which at the time of publication was a major Category 4 hurricane in the Caribbean Basin.

The hurricane has already hit the western coast of Haiti with powerful winds that knocked out a bridge connecting the capital Port-au-Prince with the country's south, and is expected to hit eastern Cuba this afternoon.

According to a forecast release by the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC), the weather pattern means the storm in on track to lashing the Bahamas tomorrow morning before making its way off the coast of Florida where it may strike the state's north on Friday morning and then on to the Carolinas by Saturday.

"There likely will be potential impacts to Florida and the Carolina Coasts," Crowley said in an update.hurricane-matthew-warning

"Vessels are being directed to either remain in port or take routes that would steer them clear of the storm.

"At this time, we expect disruptions with many of our services, including those involving Puerto Rico, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba, the Caribbean islands and Central America."

Port Everglades remains open, but a condition X-Ray was set at 8am this morning, which means gale force winds in excess of 39mph are expected in the next 48 hours.

As of 10am, Jacksonville's port status was Whiskey, which implies gale force winds for the next 72 hours.

"If the storm continues on its present track, we expect further changes in port status as early as this afternoon. As the trajectory of the storm continues to develop, we will update you with further information," the update said.

"We apologize in advance if your supply chain is disrupted."

In response, an order has been made for the evacuation of Cape Canaveral in Florida.

Port Canaveral CEO John Murray today issued an evacuation order for landside operations, affecting Jetty Park campers, marinas, and all port businesses and tenants.

The deadline to evacuate is noon on Wednesday.

In addition to the land-side evacuation, the U.S. Coast Guard has given notice that the Canaveral harbor will close by tomorrow afternoon.

Under the Captain of the Port order, no vessel traffic--including cruise and cargo ships, as well as recreational and commercial fishing boats --will be allowed in harbor until after the storm passes and the order is lifted.

“This is a serious storm and the protection of people and property is our primary concern,” Murray said.

"We expect high winds and storm surge throughout the port and have urged the Port community to prepare their facilities so business can resume as quickly as possible after the storm.”

Port Canaveral has not shut down operations due to severe weather since the 2004 storms when the harbor was closed for 11 days to ship traffic.

In an update, PortMiami said its cargo terminals SFCT and POMTOC would be closed Oct. 5 for all vessels and truck traffic until further notice.



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