With debris left by Hurricane Irma cleared, South Florida ports open

The haul from PortMiami’s navigational channels in the wake of Hurricane Irma: Four submerged sailboats and a floating dock in the turning basin. The storm also knocked two navigational buoys out of position into the middle of the channel.

Now that all the Irma debris has been towed away and the buoys have been put back in their proper place, PortMiami is open for business. The port’s north channel reopened at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, and the Coast Guard gave the green light to reopening the south channel Wednesday morning, said PortMiami Director Juan Kuryla.

But both channels can only operate in daylight hours until a navigational light — damaged by Irma — is repaired.

At Port Everglades, which reopened Tuesday for the first time since Irma’s passage, petroleum companies were working around the clock to keep the South Florida market supplied with fuel,. Three petroleum tank ships were offloading 18 million gallons of gasoline, 3.5 million gallons of diesel and 14.7 million gallons of jet fuel on Wednesday, and two more tankers were scheduled to arrive.


In this file photo, tankers unload at Broward County’s petroleum berths. Alleviating the fuel crunch after Hurricane Irma, three tankers unloaded 18 million gallons of gasoline, diesel and jet fuel at the port Wednesday.

Port Everglades

Ten of 12 petroleum companies that operate at the port have reopened and are delivering fuel to local gas stations. Water intrusion issues in tanks have kept the remaining two companies from resuming operations.

Three cruise ships that had been waiting at the Fort Lauderdale port’s entrance for the reopening arrived in port Tuesday and more docked on Wednesday. Port Everglades’ Southport also reopened to cargo ship traffic Wednesday. There are no restrictions on operations at the port.

The PortMiami tunnel and Seaboard Marine Terminal reopened to truck traffic Tuesday, but ship traffic was stacked up at the entrance to the Miami port until the Coast Guard certified that it was safe for them to enter the port.