The second-largest U.S. port, Houston remains closed on August 28 due to the “continued threat of inclement weather.”
On August 25, the U.S. Coast Guard closed multiple ports along Texas Gulf Coast, including Houston, Galveston, Texas City, Freeport and Corpus Christi.
On August 26 the Port of Brownsville reopened. The Brownsville Pilots began guiding ships into the port with a tanker that arrived at 11:45 a.m., said Henry A. de La Garza, spokesman for the Texas State Pilots Association. Pilots are tasked with guiding ships in and out of ports.
All of the ports are currently monitoring the conditions to decide when it will be safe to open. At the Port of Corpus Christi, port personnel began assessing the damage on August 26. The resumption of operations following the storm will depend on the severity of damage to the ship channel and port facilities, according to a news release.
Both cargo ships and cruise ships are stuck at sea. According to the Houston Chronicle on August 26, six commercial cargo ships are stuck. Other commercial ships including roll-on/roll-off carriers, two grain ships and a few bulk carriers, said interim port director Peter Simons on August 26.
To understand the impact of these ports closing is to look at the mount of traffic they handle. If you combine the cargo that goes through Houston and Corpus Christi, they handled 319 million of goods or 14% of shipping that went through the nation’s ports in 2014, as reported by Bloomberg News.