Southern California Ports Avoid Tropical Storm Damage

An aerial view of the San Pedro Bay port complex. Image: Google Earth.

The major seaports in Southern California mostly avoided being damaged by Tropical Storm Hilary, a downgraded hurricane that blew over much of the western parts of the state last weekend.

Between the ports in San Diego, Long Beach and Los Angeles, none reported suffering any noteworthy damage.

“The Los Angeles Harbor Department is fully operational with no reported impacts at this time,” the Port of L.A. said in an Aug. 21 statement. “Container terminals are open and operating.”

The POLA also said in the same statement that the Los Angeles Pilot Service is monitoring commercial traffic and working with the U.S. Coast Guard and Marine Exchange of Southern California’s Vessel Traffic Service.

As of Aug. 21, there were no ships anchored in the port’s outer anchorages and no reports of impacts to waterways or marinas.

“Operations are normal with heavy weather protocols,” the port said, adding that post-storm infrastructure inspections are being conducted by both the POLA and the Coast Guard.

At Long Beach, the second-busiest port on the West Coast, port Executive Director Mario Cordero said in a statement provided to the Long Beach Business Journal before the storm passed over the region that the port has “a comprehensive, all-hazard business continuity plan,” and that the facility was built to minimize damage during natural disasters.

On Monday morning, the POLB issued another statement regarding Hilary.

“There have been no impacts to port operations due to the storm as of 8 a.m. PDT,” the statement read in part. “All container terminals resumed normal operations today.”

At the Port of San Diego, precautions were taken by shutting down harbor pilot operations in anticipation of the hurricane. Cargo ship operations within the port were scheduled to halt from 11 am Sunday to noon on Monday.

By Mark Edward Nero