Ports from Virginia to New York have closed facilities Monday in anticipation of Hurricane Sandy's landfall.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey closed its facilities at midnight Sunday. The agency said the decision was made because of the "expected gravity of potential flooding in and around the port" and "anticipation of near-record storm surges expected from the arriving coastal storm."
The port said its terminals will remain closed until further notice.
The terminal closures in the New York/New Jersey port complex include Port Newark Container Terminal, Port Elizabeth Marine Terminal, Port Jersey Marine Terminal, Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island and the Brooklyn-Port Authority Marine Terminal.
The port said deep draft vessels have departed the terminals and headed to sea, and the port authority has also provided a safe berth for numerous barges, dredges and floating cranes.
The hurricane is expected to bring a near-record storm surge of six to 11 feet to the New York Harbor, which is five feet above the storm surge from Hurricane Irene.
The port authority's airports – John F. Kennedy International, Newark
Liberty International, Stewart International and LaGuardia airports –
are open, but air carriers have ceased operations until further notice,
and the agency encouraged travelers not to travel to the airports
The Port Authority said customers should check its website for updated information
about all port authority facilities.
On Saturday, the Coast Guard set port condition "Zulu" for the coastal waters of the eastern
shore of Maryland and Virginia due to the approach of Hurricane
Sandy, meaning gale force winds were possible within 12 hours and on Sunday afternoon set the port condition at "Yankee Sunday" in the afternoon at both New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore meaning gale force winds were possible within 24 hours.
The Coast Guard's Baltimore captain of the port zone established a safety zone for the port and prohibited vessels and people from entering the zone without authorization.
In Norfolk, the Virginia Port Authority said state-owned marine terminals will be closed Monday. There will be no gates
and interchanges open to the port, in addition to closures for rail and vessel operations. The port said "this will be the case until the storm has passed and
it is has been determined that it is safe to resume operations at the
The Coast Guard also advised that the entrance to the Delaware Bay may be closed to vessel traffic and said commercial vessels will not be allowed to anchor in any anchorage
upriver from Big Stone Anchorage.
The Delaware River and New York area are major centers for petroleum refining and storage.
In a blog entry on the CNBC
website, Andrew Lipow of Lipow Oil Associates in Houston said the storm could disrupt oil supplies
, because ships and barges would no longer be able to receive or load product and said he expected the four refineries on the Delaware and one in Linden, N.J., would end up reducing crude processing rates by 40 percent until crude oil resupply resumes.
"Product outages can occur not only in the New York and Philadelphia metro areas but extend to Bridgeport, New Haven, Providence and Boston," he said.
The Coast Guard said it is primarily the facility operator’s decision to allow vessels to
remain moored during the passing of the hurricane. Facilities that do
not allow vessels to remain moored must provide sufficient
notice to allow them time to move to a safe mooring.
The federal agency said facilities and vessels should communicate with each other regarding
vessels’ plans. Facility operators should also continue making preparations
to ensure all loose cargo, terminal equipment and debris are safely
secured. All vessel moorings should be reinforced.
In addition, the Coast Guard cautioned it was moving its assets out of harm’s way to be
able to respond once the storm passes. As a result, the agency will have
minimal search-and-rescue capabilities until the storm passes out of the
The Coast Guard newsroom may be accessed here.
The Coast Guard also said this morning it had rescued 14 of 16 crew members from the HMS Bounty
, a replica of the ship that was built for the 1962 Marlon Brando movie Mutiny on the Bounty
The 16-person crew (initially, the Coast Guard reported that there were 17 members) abandoned the ship early Monday after being caught up in Hurricane Sandy, about 90 miles southeast of Hatteras, N.C. The ship lost power and pumps were unable to keep up with dewatering.
Crew members donned cold water survival suits and lifejackets before launching in two 25-man lifeboats with canopies, according to a report on the ship's Website.
The Coast Guard is continuing to search for the two missing crewmen who were washed overboard from the boats.
is a reproduction of the ship on which the 1789 mutiny against Lt. William Bligh took place. In addition to Mutiny on the Bounty
, the ship HMS Bounty
has appeared in many documentaries and films, such as Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Man's Chest
. This fall it was sailing up and down the U.S. East Court and had visited many ports. - Chris Dupin