Monday, February 25, 2008

Houston's Channel Closed by Heavy Fog

The Houston Ship Channel, which serves the largest U.S. petroleum port, was closed this morning by heavy fog, the U.S. Coast Guard said. The channel closed about 8:30 a.m. local time and may reopen around noon based on weather forecasts, Watch Supervisor Albert Hernandez said in a telephone interview. There currently is no backlog of ships waiting to enter the port, he said.``Right now, there is significant fog on the channel, and the Houston pilots have stopped boarding vessels inbound or outbound to the port,'' Hernandez said. Houston has the second-biggest port of any kind by tonnage. Two of the nation's four largest oil refineries are in the Houston area, according to the Greater Houston Partnership.

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