Coast Guard Lifts Restrictions on Houston Ship Channel

Tuesday, June 12, 2001
The U.S. Coast Guard kept the Houston Ship Channel open without any restrictions on Tuesday, but still required vessels to check with traffic controllers before exiting or entering, a Coast Guard spokeswoman said.

The channel, the primary transport route in and out of the city's large oil refining and petrochemical complex, was partly shut by flooding during the weekend and was reopened on Monday. The Coast Guard shut down the channel north of Baytown early Saturday, after floodwaters from Tropical Storm Allison caused more than a dozen barges to slip their moorings and block the bulkloading facility. The southern section of the channel was closed to all but emergency traffic during that time.

The decision to reopen the channel came Monday after Coast Guard safety crews checked the integrity of navigational markers and found they were still intact.

Rains that lingered after Allison hit Tuesday picked up early Saturday and dumped 35 in. on the Houston area.

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