Fog impedes ship traffic along Central US Gulf Coast

Fog halted ship traffic along the central US Gulf Coast on Friday, including at port of Houston. The Houston Ship Channel, serving Houston, Galveston and Texas City; Sabine Pass to Beaumont and Port Arthur, Texas; and the channel to Lake Charles, Louisiana, all were affected. Houston is one of the world's largest concentrations of oil refineries and petrochemical plants, and also a hub for containers, automobiles, grain and general cargo. At least 50 ships, more than half of them oil or petroleum products tankers, were held up by low-visibility conditions that stopped traffic starting Thursday. However, breaks in the weather allowed pilots to move a few vessels late in the day. Officials expect the fog to return later Friday and persist until arrival of a cold front over the weekend. Beaumont-Port Arthur and Lake Charles are largely refinery and petrochemical ports.
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