Here's how Port Canaveral is preparing for Dorian

Unpredictable storm provides challenges for world's second-busiest port

The U.S. Coast Guard has set Port Canaveral's hurricane status to "X-ray" ahead of Hurricane Dorian's arrival, meaning the port is actively preparing for gale-force winds within 48 hours.

As of Friday, the second-busiest port in the world remains open to all commercial traffic.

Coast Guard Capt. Jason Kling said he expects the port to be closed to marine traffic sometime late Saturday evening. Kling encouraged boaters thinking about celebrating Labor Day weekend on the water to reconsider so the Coast Guard can focus on preparing for the storm.

"Oceangoing vessels greater than 500 gross tons, including oceangoing tugs and barges greater than 500 gross tons, already in port or arriving during Hurricane Condition X-RAY shall continue with preparations and safely depart the Port before the setting of Hurricane Condition ZULU, issued when sustained gale-force winds are predicted within 12 hours," according to a news release.

There are three hurricane statuses the Coast Guard uses: Whiskey, X-ray and Zulu.

Capt. John Murray, who is the port's director, the U.S. Coast Guard and other Brevard County officials provided an update Friday morning at Interagency Maritime Operations Center on how they are preparing the port for this unpredictable storm.

Murray said the biggest concern Friday is the uncertainty of where Dorian is going.

Port Canaveral faces unique challenges, said Murray, because it is directly connected to the open ocean.

Crews with the Port Authority and the Coast Guard were working Friday to get small boat traffic out of the port and clearing any possibly hazards.

The SpaceX drone ship Of Course I Still Love You, used to catch Falcon rocket boosters, will ride out the storm at the port, according to Smith.

Watch the news conference below.

DORIAN'S IMPACT | Update on Port Canaveral’s preparations for Hurricane Dorian

DORIAN'S IMPACT | Update on Port Canaveral’s preparations for Hurricane Dorian. http://bit.ly/2Lhc7GK

Posted by News 6 WKMG / ClickOrlando on Friday, August 30, 2019

David Smith with Seaport Canaveral, which stores millions of gallons of fuel, said the facility's generators received more than $1 million in upgrades recently. Smith said he expects to be back up and running delivering fuel to the Central Florida community "as long as it's safe for drivers to be on the road and stations are open."

Seaport Canaveral currently has 21 million gallons of gas, Smith said.

Brevard County Sheriff's Office Cmdr. Linda Moros recommended that after the storm passes, travelers and workers check the Port Authority's social media channels before heading to the port.

"We will not allow anyone in this port until we make sure its safe," Moros said.

Several cruise lines started modifying their schedules as Dorian moved through the Caribbean earlier in the week.

Schedules for Norwegian Cruises, including Norwegian Breakaway, Norwegian Sky and Norwegian Sun, have been modified due to Dorian, according to a spokesperson.

Carnival Cruise Lines placed some of its ships under watch as Dorian approached Florida's East Coast. Carnival Liberty is now expected to return to Port Canaveral on Thursday. A Liberty cruise set to depart from the port Tuesday has been canceled.

Carnival Elation will now depart Sept. 5 and return Sept. 7.

Travelers should check directly with their cruise lines about schedule changes.

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