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Houston Ship Channel Pilots Suspend Traffic Because of Fog

Feb. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Maritime pilots stopped guiding vessels through the Houston Ship Channel before dawn today because fog reduced visibility at the largest U.S. petroleum port, the Coast Guard said.

Pilots halted transits to Houston at 4:45 a.m. local time today, Phillip Woods, a Coast Guard watch supervisor in Houston, said in an interview. Pilots who guide ships to the ports of Galveston and Texas City halted at 5:15 a.m., he said.

The suspension left eight deep-draft vessels waiting for passage to Houston and nine ships in the port as of 6 a.m. local time, he said. Two ships were waiting passage to Galveston or Texas City

An advisory for dense fog is in effect for the area until 9 a.m., according to a notice posted by the National Weather Service on its website at 5:5o a.m. local time.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jim Polson in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Susan Warren at

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