Valdez port reopened as winds calm down

Posted: Tuesday, March 01, 2011

VALDEZ — High winds at Valdez have calmed enough to allow the reopening of the port, where Alaska oil is loaded onto tankers.

Winds peaked at 95 mph Saturday, forcing the closure. Dave Noble with the National Weather Service says the harbor winds were 22 mph Monday afternoon, with occasional gusts to 54 mph.

A tanker arrived early Monday morning after the port was temporarily reopened. Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Destrey Gambol says the port was reclosed shortly before 4 a.m. Monday.

During the closure, the Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. continued to receive oil from the 800-mile trans-Alaska oil pipeline into storage tanks. Spokeswoman Michelle Egan says storage is about 35 percent of the 7.2 million barrel capacity. It normally is 8.7 million barrels but some tanks are out of service.

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