Story written by: Deb Belt

For the full story visit: Tampa Patch

TAMPA, FL — With only minor damage and flooding inflicted by Hurricane Irma at Port Tampa Bay, the U.S. Coast Guard says it expects to reopen the port at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 12. Strong winds are still a safety issue for vessel traffic and operations; three petroleum vessels are expected to bring fuel into port when it reopens.

According to a news release, on Monday dozens of tanker trucks were loaded with gas (with fuel stored at Port Tampa Bay), and continue to be filled tonight. They are delivering fuel to the Tampa Bay area and beyond.

“The Port is operating and ready for business,” said Port Tampa Bay President Paul Anderson. (For more hurricane news or local news from Florida, click here to sign up for real-time news alerts and newsletters from Tampa Patch, and click here to find your local Florida Patch. If you have an iPhone, click here to get the free Patch iPhone app.)

The U.S. Coast Guard, Port personnel, and the United States Army Corp of Engineers are scanning the 40-mile channel Monday and will resume scanning on Tuesday morning to make sure it is clear.

Meanwhile, guests on Carnival Paradise’s Sept. 7 voyage left Cozumel, Mexico, Monday afternoon en route to Port Tampa Bay or Port Canaveral, depending on the availability of Port Tampa Bay. By 9 a.m. Tuesday, Carnival will post the ship’s arrival destination, set for Wednesday.

If Paradise docks in Port Canaveral, guests may elect to be transferred to Tampa, or the Orlando airport, via motor coach or remain in the Port Canaveral area until Carnival repositions the ship to Port Tampa Bay on Saturday. Contact Carnival directly with any questions.

Image via Port Tampa Bay