The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said Friday morning that its maritime facilities remain closed until further notice.
“Port authority staff and engineers remain on site at all port authority facilities to inspect conditions, assess damage, and perform repair work. Our primary goal is to ensure the safety of our workers and those who use our facilities. We will resume operations at our facilities as quickly as possible consistent with safe operations,” the agency said.
Some container shipping companies indicated they were changing ship rotations, diverting cargo to other ports, or setting up special phone numbers or offices in the wake of the storm. Among companies with Sandy-related announcements on their Websites are including: "K" Line
On Thursday, the Coast Guard opened the port to tug and barge traffic carrying petroleum products and said the Kill Van Kull, the waterway between Staten Island and Bayonne that leads to Newark Bay, was open. The coast of Staten Island was heavily damaged by tidal surges.
Along the Arthur Kill, the waterway which runs down the west Coast of Staten Island from Howland Hook to Raritan Bay and separates it from New Jersey, the Coast Guard said it is continuing to oversee clean-up operations at the Motiva facility in Sewaren, N.J.
The New Jersey shoreline of the Arthur Kill has long been home to a large number of refineries, chemicals factories, and tank terminals and is popularly known as the “Chemical Coast.”
Meanwhile, Coast Guard Rear Adm. Steven Ratti, the Coast Guard 5th District's commander, ordered a district formal investigation Thursday to determine the cause of the sinking of the tall ship Bounty
, a three-masted sailing ship, 90 miles southeast of Hatteras, N.C., Monday during Hurricane Sandy, which resulted in the death of one crewman, and another who remains missing. The Coast Guard rescued 14 crew members from the ship.
The Coast Guard also said:
- New York waterway ferries and taxi service are fully operational on the Hudson and East Rivers.
- Gravesend Bay anchorage south of the Verrazano Bridge as well as the anchorage north of the bridge is now open.
- The Hudson River is open to all vessel traffic north of George Washington Bridge.
- Tugs and barges are permitted to precede along the Arthur Kill
waterway from the south with permission from the vessel traffic system and the captain of the port.
- All inspected passenger vessels are authorized to operate except within the noted exclusive zones.
- Anchorage Ground 21-C in Bay Ridge Flats is open to approved vessel traffic.
- Port Jersey Channel is open.
The Coast Guard added that more specific guidelines and exceptions on the status of the port are posted to its New York Homeport
Website. - Chris Dupin