North Carolina's Ports Fully Reopen After Hurricane Florence
The ports of Wilmington and Morehead City, North Carolina resumed their full normal operations on Monday, ending the 11-day closure brought by Hurricane Florence and its aftermath.
The terminals closed on September 13, prior to the hurricane's arrival, and they partly reopened for employees and for marine side operations late last week. The port of Wilmington saw its first post-storm vessel berthing on Thursday when the Yang Ming Uniformity arrived from Boston, and the Port of Morehead City accepted its first vessels on Wednesday and Thursday.
However, the ports' truck gates remained closed until Monday. Flooding in the Wilmington area has interfered with vehicle traffic in and out of the city for most of the past week, but the majority of Interstate 40 reopened for traffic on Monday, clearing a major artery to North Carolina's main seaport. The city's ordeal is not yet over: floodwaters in Wilmington are not expected to peak until Tuesday, with tidal flooding in parts of the city's downtown through Tuesday night.
“North Carolina Ports’ facilities in Wilmington and Morehead City suffered some damage during Hurricane Florence. Our employees along with local, state and federal agencies worked around the clock to get our waterside terminals up and running as quickly and safely as possible,” said NC Ports Executive Director Paul J. Cozza in a statement. “The arrival of these ships to their respective ports marks the return to normalcy after such a devastating storm across eastern North Carolina."
The Port of Wilmington is reopening in time to accept one particularly important shipment: relief supplies from the Georgia Ports Authority. The GPA is accepting donations from the community at their facility at 2 Main St. Savannah, Georgia, from 0900 to 1200 hours on Tuesday, September 25. These supplies will be loaded into containers and delivered to the Port of Wilmington.