Hurricane Harvey Update #4

August 29, 2017

Hurricane Harvey Update #4

Dear Valued Customer,

Based on the latest information from the national hurricane center, government agencies, and terminal partners on the gulf coast of the United States, we have activated our Incident Management Center for Maersk Line to review the situation around-the-clock. We will provide you with updates to keep you informed of the operational impact to cargo operations in North America.

We would like to provide you with the following update (as of 7:00pm EST on Tuesday, August 29th):

Harvey has been moving toward the east near 6 mph (9 km/h) during the past few hours, however, a north-northeastward motion is expected to resume later tonight and this general motion should continue through tomorrow.  On the forecast track, the center of Harvey is expected to move inland over the northwestern Gulf Coast within the tropical storm warning area early Wednesday.

Harvey is expected to produce additional rainfall accumulations of 6 to 12 inches to the north and east of Houston from far east Texas into southwestern Louisiana. Isolated storm totals will reach 50 inches over the upper Texas coast, including the Houston/Galveston metropolitan area.  These rains are currently producing catastrophic and life-threatening flooding over large portions of southeastern Texas and southwestern Louisiana.

Elsewhere, Harvey is expected to produce total rainfall amounts of 5 to 10 inches across portions of southern Louisiana into coastal Mississippi and Alabama. Rainfall associated with Harvey will spread north by mid to late week, with rainfall amounts of 4 to 8 inches spreading into portions of Arkansas and the Tennessee Valley.

A preliminary report from a rain gauge has broken the Texas tropical cyclone rainfall record.  The Cedar Bayou gauge, east of Highlands, Texas, has reported 51.88 inches of rain as of 3 PM CDT.  This total is higher than the previous record of 48 inches set during tropical cyclone Amelia of 1978 at Medina, Texas.

You can view all of the latest details regarding Hurricane Harvey on the National Hurricane Center website:

Port Operations
Port Houston: All Port Houston facilities will remain closed on Wednesday, August 30th due to the weather impact across Houston. They will be continuing to monitor weather conditions to determine when operations can safely resume. At this point, there are no indications from the U.S. Coast Guard on when the Houston Ship Channel will reopen for vessel transits. Updates will be provided as more information is available.

You can view the latest information regarding Port Houston container terminals and general cargo facilities on this page.

Vessel Operations
Please see below for confirmed operational statuses of impacted vessels:




Additional vessel schedule changes will be communicated as they are confirmed. Maersk Line Marine Operations is working with port and local staff to expedite this process.

Rail Service

Widespread flooding in the Houston area and other parts of southeastern Texas continues to cause major disruptions to rail service and BNSF operations in the region. Another eight to 12 inches of rain fell during the past 24 hours and several area reservoirs are at maximum water levels.

Several BNSF subdivisions remain out of service due to multiple washouts and highwater reported. All traffic destined to/originating from Houston, as well as traffic scheduled to route through Houston, remains suspended. Other area rail lines, including those with BNSF trackage rights, have also been forced out of service.

All operations at BNSF Houston-area railyards and facilities, including our Pearland Intermodal and Automotive facilities, are also suspended as road closures continue to limit access to these locations. There is currently no estimate on when these facilities may reopen.

Given the size and scope of this historic flooding, normal train flows in the area are not likely to resume for an extended period. Customers should expect continued delays on shipments scheduled to move through the area.

BNSF crews will be conducting inspections and beginning repair work today in some locations. Equipment and resources are positioned to support these restoration efforts as conditions improve. As always, safety is our top priority.

You can view the full BNSF advisory here.

Customer Service
Our Houston, TX office was closed today and will be closed on Wednesday, August 30 as well. As a result, customer service representatives who work out of our Houston, TX office will be inaccessible until further notice, via phone and email.

Call Us
In the interim, please direct all calls to the Maersk line customer service phone number (1-800-321-8807) and your call will be rerouted to one of our customer service teammates in Charlotte or Toronto. Due to the reduced number of staff available, you may experience longer-than-usual hold times. Please bear with us as we work diligently to address your inquiry.

Email Us
Should you have an assigned customer service representative who is inaccessible:

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to your local Maersk Line customer service or sales representative.

You can expect to receive further information on Wednesday, August 30.

Your Maersk Line North America Team

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