Speeding north at over 20 mph, now Hurricane Nate continues to barrel towards the U.S. Gulf Coast (for comparison, Harvey moved at just 6 mph). The speed bodes well for states along the coast – Nate should move through very quickly, reducing the risk of severe flooding. Conversely, the system’s speed adds force to storm winds, potentially creating more damage while the storm passes over.
Nate is still on track to hit Gulf states either late tonight or early Sunday morning, and forecasts now show that it could become a Category 2 hurricane before making landfall. Predicting exactly where the storm will make landfall is difficult, but it will be somewhere between eastern Louisiana and the far western tips of the Florida panhandle. Emergency has been declared in Louisiana, and certain parts of of New Orleans have been required to evacuate.
Cuba and the Yucatan Peninsula are recovering from Nate’s brief stint near land, and most warnings have been lifted at this point. Now that the storm is over water, it is free to intensify as it travels across the warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico.
Hurricane Nate likely will not significantly disrupt fuel supplies in the U.S. While the storm will temporarily shut in some offshore crude production, its path remains well east of the Gulf’s major refineries. At this time, the only foreseeable impact will be a brief disruption in barge shipments, though suppliers have said Florida, a predominantly barge-fed market, should not experience any noticable outages.
Mansfield remains on Code Orange for Louisiana (New Orleans), Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida. Operations teams are prepared for storm conditions tonight and tomorrow, and are already coordinating efforts for post-storm recovery. Given the significant impact left by other storms this year, Mansfield is taking caution to make sure customers remain supplied.
If you have questions or would like to order fuel ahead of the storm, please contact your Mansfield sales representative or customer relationship manager.