Major storms close Georgia ports

The 300 foot dredge Alaska, off the coast of Tybee Island, Ga., deepens the shipping channel to the Port of Savannah. The project will deepen the shipping channel from 42 to 47 feet at mean low water.
photo A Wallenius Wilhelmsen roll-on/roll-off vessel takes on vehicles at Colonel's Island Terminal near Brunswick, Ga.

The Georgia Ports Authority will close its port facilities in both Savannah and Brunswick, Ga. on Friday due to adverse weather conditions and the threat of major storms.

Closed facilities include Garden City Terminal and Ocean Terminal in Savannah; and the Colonel's Island Bulk Facility and Mayor's Point Terminal in Brunswick.

The GPA said it may resume field operations as early as Friday evening.

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has declared a state of emergency for 56 counties, including Glynn and Chatham counties, where Georgia's deepwater ports are located. The U.S. Coast Guard will restrict vessel arrival and departure starting at 10 p.m. tonight.

"Out of an abundance of caution, and for the safety of our employees, local residents, customers and service providers, we are closing our facilities until the storm has passed," said GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch. "The GPA would like to thank our port users, stakeholders and employees for their continued support."