Much-needed fuel headed to Florida ports

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Several Southeast seaports that shut down ahead of Hurricane Irma say they will be able to reopen in the next 48 hours, allowing badly needed shipments of fuel, food and other goods to make their way into the region.

Port Everglades has three fuel resupply tankers at berth and are working around the clock to bring more fuel into Florida.

Officials were still assessing damage on Monday but reported few issues, aside from minor flooding in some areas. Just before noon on Tuesday, a port spokesperson confirmed with American Shipper the port was still closed to vessel traffic, and that vessel traffic would most likely resume at some point on Wednesday, although the timing was still unclear.

Port Everglades reports that it is open with no restrictions by order of the U.S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port.

The South Carolina Ports Authority said on its website Tuesday morning that the port authoritys cargo and facilities avoided any significant impacts from Irma. There are now about 10 ships queued up to the northeast of Savannah, waiting out the storm, he said.

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Port Everglades, which handles fuel shipments for 12 Florida counties and several global airports, said in a statement that it has reopened to commercial traffic during daylight hours only, with no draft restrictions.

The Port is prepared for the possibility of additional cruise ships. Amid reports of fuel shortages across the state, diesel prices in Florida have gone up 7 cents a gallon over the past week, according to AAA.

The last major Florida cruise port to be closed for Hurricane Irma, PortMiami, reopened late on September 12. Three petroleum tank ships arrived Tuesday and are now offloading 18 million gallons of gasoline, 3.5 million gallons of diesel and 14.7 million gallons of jet fuel.

This waiver ensures that all options are available to distribute fuel to Florida.

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