Thursday, August 28, 2014

Storm Threat Halts POLB Terminal Ops

By Mark Edward Nero

Two cargo terminals at the Port of Long Beach suspended vessel operations for the day on Wednesday, August 27 because longshore workers were endangered by 10- to 15-foot high wave surges caused by Pacific Hurricane Marie.

Marie grew into a large and powerful Category 5 storm and moved west-northwestward off the Pacific coast of Mexico this week, causing dangerous conditions from the Baja California Peninsula up through Southern California.

Total Terminals International on Pier T, with two Mediterranean Shipping Co. container ships at berth, and Crescent Terminals on Pier F, with two break-bulk ships including an MOL roll-on, roll-off vessel at berth, stopped working the ships late Aug. 26. There was flooding reported at Crescent.

All other terminals at the port remained open for vessel operations, and trucking operations at all terminals, including at TTI and Crescent, also continued and were unaffected by the wave surges, according to the port.

The worst of the surges were at high tide just before 11 am on Wednesday, and again at 11 pm.
The surges were so powerful that two barges broke loose from their anchorage overnight Tuesday, and were later towed and docked at berths T136 and T134. A pleasure craft also had to be towed to safety.

Also on Tuesday night, heavy rocks from the Navy Mole breakwater were tossed onto a nearby roadway. Road damage was reported near the Sea Launch satellite-launch vessels, closing the roadway pending repairs. Sea Launch employees were being escorted through the nearby TTI terminal to get to their offices.

No wave-related injuries were reported.