Information provided by Patrick Seeba:
This morning, a Port Coordination Team call was held to discuss industry concerns and priorities and to share the Incident Command’s status with regard to the Texas City Y Incident.
The Coast Guard has set up a command post at the Doyle Center and Port Coordination Team has been activated to ensure that industry’s needs are communicated to the Unified Command. For further information about the PCT, please see the attached SOP.
Currently, the Coast Guard has two overflights over the channel to look for oil, and believe that a majority of the oil is out of the traffic lanes, however this is not yet confirmed. Depending on the results of the flights, the Unified Command may begin to direct Houston Vessel Traffic to begin inbound/outbound traffic movement later today. The Captain of the Port is hopeful that movements may begin today, including the ferries about which initial reports show no sign of contamination.
The Port of Houston Authority, as well as the overwhelming majority of private facilities on the channel are currently open, and operating as though it were a fog day – “vessels are lining up at anchorage, and it will be pretty busy when we get moving again, but you can drop off empties, and landside operations are running as normal”.
The Coast Guard was able to move three cruise ships in yesterday, all of which will be decontaminated, and the Unified Command is setting up decontamination stations for any ships affected by the spill.
Area conditions have pushed some of the oil out through the jetties, and NOAA reports that beginning on Tuesday, weather in the area may become quite mess – winds to E/SE at 20-25 knots with 4-7 foot swells – so any vessel in the safety zones, including those out at anchorage that may have become contaminated are urged to self-report to Incident Command so that they may be queued for cleaning priority.