As many of our clients will already be aware, there is currently a Category Four storm Hurricane Florence located south-east of Bermuda, moving west-north-west. On its current track it is predicted to make landfall near Wilmington, North Carolina, late on Thursday 13th.
A number of mandatory evacuations have been ordered in South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia, affecting more than a million people.
South Carolina’s Governor Henry McMaster has given the entire coastline until noon on Tuesday to leave.
In its latest advisory at 23:00 eastern time (0300 GMT). the National Hurricane Center said of Florence: “Some strengthening is expected during the next 36 hours, and Florence is expected to be an extremely dangerous major hurricane through Thursday.”
It said hurricane-force winds would “extend outward up to 40 miles (65km) from the centre and tropical-storm-force winds [would] extend outward up to 150 miles (240km)”.
Due to the storm and the mandatory evacuations delays are expected to affect all vessels located in or scheduled to call at all ports located in the path of Hurricane Florence, including, Savannah, Charleston, Norfolk and Wilmington. Many vessels carrying cargo from Europe to Australia will also be affected as they transit through eastern US ports.
Due to the evacuations it will also cause delays in communication with shipping lines and transport providers located in these areas, including our Freightplus offices and staff.
Tropical Storm Isaac may also cause delays to vessels in and scheduled to pass through the South East of the US and Panama. It is currently lined up behind Florence and on its current track is expected to pass through the Lesser Antilles, with winds of tropical storm force reaching Puerto Rico on Thursday evening.
We will continue to monitor both storms and provide updated information as it becomes available. We appreciate our clients patience during these events and our thoughts are with those in the affected areas.