Monday, February 25, 2008
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.