Gulf port operations disrupted with Hurricane Delta due to hit on Friday
Gulf port operations are being affected yet again this hurricane season, with a new storm strengthening as it closes in on Louisiana and Texas.
Hurricane Delta as of Thursday morning was a category 2 with 105 mph winds, but it's expected to strengthen into a major hurricane before hitting land on Friday afternoon.
Shipping company Sealand advised on Thursday that the port of Houston had closed to inbound traffic, while the port of New Orleans is due to close on Friday.
Sealand anticipates delays on some of its services due to the adverse weather.
"Hurricane Delta is expected to grow in size as it approaches the northern Gulf Coast, where life-threatening storm surge and dangerous hurricane-force winds are likely beginning Friday, particularly for portions of the Louisiana coast," the company said.
Water from the hurricane's storm surge could reach as high as 7 to 11 feet in areas from Pecan Island, La., to Port Fourchon, La., according to the National Hurricane Center. Delta is forecast to intensify, with sustained winds up to 115 mph.
"Today's your day to get ready," NHC Director Ken Graham told people in the storm's expected path, in an online briefing Thursday morning. Floodwaters and high winds could arrive ahead of landfall, making it too dangerous to prepare or evacuate as the storm approaches on Friday, Graham said.
Delta's path includes Cameron, La., and other areas just east of the Texas border – many of which are still recovering from a devastating blow dealt by Hurricane Laura, a Category 4 storm, in late August.