Houston Ship Channel Closure

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

On October 4 a tow with three scrap barges hit the west tower of the Baytown high lines at approximately 0600 hrs. The tower was leaning over on the barge with the power cable dangling in the water. VTS Houston closed the channel from Beacon 105 to 124. This area is in the vicinity of ExxonMobil in Baytown.

The crane barge Big John is currently hooking up to stabilize the tower following which wires will be disconnected and removed. The channel will be opened for traffic once the wires are removed which is expected to occur in the evening Tuesday October 5.

ExxonMobil is open for traffic to/from sea but subject to Coast Guard review. Barbour’s Cut Container Terminal, Bayport, Ports of Texas City and Galveston are open for traffic to/from sea.

Houston Pilots have orders for 18 arriving vessels and 12 departing vessels that are impacted by the closure.

Supplies of bunkers to vessel have been affected as bunkers are loaded on barges in above the incident area and cannot reach vessels below the incident area. Accordingly bunkers cannot be supplied from sources in Houston to Barbour’s Cut Container Terminal, Bayport, Texas City, Galveston and Bolivar Roads.

Coast Guard is reminding vessels to keep their Notice of Arrival (ENOA) current.

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