IRMA: Cruise ships, businesses picking up pieces at Port Canaveral

By Cheryn Stone, Reporter
Last Updated: Thursday, September 14, 2017, 10:43 AM EDT

Port Canaveral is recovering from a shutdown before Irma, but restoring power and water service is impeding the return to full operation.

  • Port Canaveral shut down during Hurricane Irma
  • Port officials trying to have power and water fully restored
  • Cruise ships starting to deport and arrive again 
  • Port Canaveral: Latest IRMA information

“One of the big challenges we’ve had and that we’ve overcome in getting the fuel back out on the street is a lack of water from the city of Cocoa,” said Capt. John Murray, the port's director and chief executive officer. 

Fuel is priority one, and the port is moving gasoline, diesel and jet fuel throughout Florida. 

It’s critical that the port operates for waterside restaurant Milliken’s Reef. Manager Antero Carreiro was pleased to see some operations up and running again.

“It’s good news for everybody. Anybody that’s local loves coming to the port,” he said. 

Some cruise ships started arriving and departing. They have received cruise ships that were diverted from the port before Irma. As operations get back to normal, passengers are urged to check with their cruise lines to confirm their schedules.

Initial surveys show mainly cosmetic repairs and debris removal are needed at Port Canaveral.

“Considering what could've happened, we are in very good shape," Murray said. "Compared to Hurricane Matthew, we've had more damage than Matthew. This is a much larger storm. Even though the eye was farther from us, it was much more intense and had a larger scope. So we did incur more damage. That said, the damage is not so significant that we have had issues with moving ships in and out of the port,” he said.

Staff at Milliken's Reef say they’re fortunate, too, in dodging any crippling issues from Irma. 

Despite the phone lines being down, they are ready to serve people.

“Come on down here, join us on the weekend. Every day is a happy hour,” Carreiro said. 

The U.S. Coast Guard will officially determine when everything is back online at Port Canaveral.