December 19, 2017 / 3:48 PM / a year ago

Fog halts inbound Houston Ship Channel traffic: U.S. Coast Guard

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Dense fog halted inbound vessel traffic on Tuesday on the Houston Ship Channel that leads to the busiest U.S. petrochemical port, the U.S. Coast Guard said, but the waterway was later reopened for ships leaving the Port of Houston.

About 13 vessels in the channel were authorized to return to sea late on Tuesday, according to the Houston Pilots Association website. There were 37 ships outside the channel on Tuesday waiting to enter the 53-mile (85 km) waterway, according to the Coast Guard.

The backlog included three crude tankers waiting to arrive at the port, according to Matthew Brock, lead dispatcher for Houston Pilots.

Meanwhile, six ships were awaiting inbound approval and three were awaiting to depart at the Galveston/Texas City port.

Ship pilots halted vessels going to and from the port of Houston at 1408 CST Monday due to poor visibility.

Dense sea fog is a routine feature of late winter and early spring weather along the Gulf Coast.

Reporting by Bryan Sims; Editing by Phil Berlowitz and Tom Brown

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