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Florida's Largest Fuel Port Reopens To Vessels

Bobbie O'Brien
WUSF Public Media
An all too common site for Floridians due to Hurricane Irma.

Port Tampa Bay reopened to vessel traffic Tuesday at 2 p.m. And 10 ships are scheduled to unload more than 10 million gallons of gasoline in the next 48 hours for the gas starved state.

The first fuel vessel was expected to pass under the Sunshine Skyway Bridge at approximately 3 p.m.

Florida gets almost all of its gasoline through five seaports, Tampa Bay, Miami, Everglades, Canaveral and Jacksonville, but nearly 50 percent of that fuel flows through Port Tampa Bay.

Tanker trucks started rolling out of Port Tampa Bay Monday to resupply gas stations along heavily traveled highways for returning evacuees.

Operations were shutdown and vessel traffic halted Friday night as Hurricane Irma approached the bay area. Port Tampa Bay staff rode out the storm aboard an icebreaker ship that was docked in port.

Tuesday afternoon, the U.S. Coast Guard also reopened the ports in Miami and the Everglades, but for ship traffic only during daylight hours because of possible obstructions.

Bobbie O’Brien has been a Reporter/Producer at WUSF since 1991. She reports on general news topics in Florida and the Tampa Bay region.
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