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Houston Ship Channel Has 64 Vessels Stalled, Coast Guard Says

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March 1 (Bloomberg) -- Sixty-four ships were idled at the Houston Ship Channel, which serves the largest U.S. petroleum port, as fog limited visibility for a third day, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

As of 6 a.m. local time, 49 ships were waiting to enter the port and 15 were waiting to depart, Lieutenant Junior Grade Michael Scott, Coast Guard watch supervisor, said in a telephone interview.

Clear weather enabled Houston ship pilots to guide vessels out of the port from 10 a.m. to 8:10 p.m. yesterday, clearing some dock space, Scott said.

Pilots for the ports of Galveston and Texas City also suspended operations, leaving five vessels waiting to enter and three waiting to depart, he said.

A dense fog advisory is in effect for the area until 11 a.m. local time, according to the National Weather Service website.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jim Polson in New York at jpolson@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Susan Warren at susanwarren@bloomberg.net

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