HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Coast Guard and the Hawaii Harbors Division are securing ports across the state, and a rolling series of port closures will disrupt barge sailings and container ship schedules for the next few days.
What commercial mariners know as "Condition Three," declared Wednesday by the Coast Guard, means Hawaii ports will be closing as the storms approach and no boat or ship will be allowed to stay moored without approval of the chief of port.
After the first closures - the Port of Hilo at 4 a.m. Thursday, the Port of Kawaihae on the west side of the Big Island at 7 a.m. Thursday, and the Port of Kahului at 9 a.m. Thursday - the ports of Lanai and Molokai will close at noon, having just gotten their last Young Brothers barge deliveries before the storms.
The Port of Honolulu will close at 6 p.m. Thursday, forcing the Matson containership MV Mokiohana, which arrived at Sand Island Wednesday night, to unload rapidly and make an early back to the West Coast.
Young Brothers, which had already told customers it would accept containerized cargo only until the storms passed, extended that order Wednesday, saying no refrigerated containers, either, until seas calm down after the storms, although the company did hope to include "reefers" on one last Thursday sailing to Kauai.
When barges cannot shelter in port due to port closure, they sail around in open seas until the weather improves - in this case, in seas to the north, YB said Wednesday night.