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  July 9th, 2024 | Written by

Hurricane Beryl Shuts Down Major Texas Ports Amid Strengthening Storm

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Hurricane Beryl has forced the closure of several major ports in Texas, leading to a surge in vessel traffic near the Houston coast. According to Reuters, the hurricane has already left a path of destruction in the Caribbean, claiming at least 11 lives.

Currently a Category 1 hurricane, Beryl is expected to intensify to a Category 2 by the time it makes landfall on Monday, as reported by the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC).

The 52-mile Houston Ship Channel, which provides access to eight public facilities and approximately 200 private terminals, imposed transit restrictions on July 7 before completely halting traffic. This led to the closures of the Ports of Corpus Christi, Houston, Galveston, Freeport, and Texas City, as Coast Guard captains set the condition ‘Zulu’ over the weekend.

With gale-force winds expected within the next 12 hours, all vessel movements and cargo operations are restricted. The NHC reported that an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft found Beryl’s maximum sustained winds had increased to nearly 75 miles per hour (MPH).

Last August, a Category 4 hurricane sweeping through Mexico’s Baja California peninsula caused ports across Southern California to experience record-breaking rainfall.