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Charleston, Savannah ports open to all traffic as Florence dissipates: USCG

Houston — The US Coast Guard removed movement restrictions for the ports of Charleston, South Carolina, and Savannah, Georgia, as the effects of Hurricane Florence dissipated over the weekend.

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Charleston's port status of Yankee was removed Saturday, the USCG said.

"All ports in SC are open to all traffic," the USCG said Monday morning.

Savannah was back to normal operations early Saturday morning, he added, after port condition Yankee was eliminated.

Neither port was officially closed, but restrictions to movement were in place using the USCG's port condition system.

The port of Georgetown, South Carolina, 60 miles north of Charleston, was closed due to the storm, but reopened to traffic Saturday at 5:00 pm EDT (2100 GMT).

Mariners were, however, urged to transit with caution due to the possibility hazards to navigation, a circular from the USCG said.

A source confirmed it was business as usual in the wake of the storm.

"We're open for business down there, loading barges already yesterday."

He said they had a barge loading in Charleston and a second barge sailing to Savannah set to arrive no later than Tuesday.

According to cFlow, S&P Global Platts trade-flow software, 26 vessels were either in port in Charleston or waiting offshore to come in, the majority of which were anchored as of 10:15 am CDT (1515 GMT).

The Norwegian-flagged bulk carrier Star Herdla was the only ship in transit near the port, sailing north along the Cooper River near North Charleston.

There were 14 vessels either in port or parked offshore for Savannah, cFlow showed.

None were currently sailing within the port, the software showed.

The market climbed for Charleston IFO 380, hitting a two-week high ahead of the storm, touching $476/mt ex-wharf on September 12.

The story in Savannah was similar, with ex-wharf IFO 380 also hitting a two-month high at $476/mt on the same day.

--Alan Tomczak, alan.tomczak@spglobal.com

--Edited by Annie Siebert, ann.siebert@spglobal.com