Rail traffic at the Port of Wilmington has resumed following an embargo by Jacksonville, Florida-based CSX on traffic to Wilmington because of Hurricane Florence.
The first inbound train arrived at the Port of Wilmington on Tuesday night, officials with CSX said Wednesday. The rail company had embargoed inbound traffic between Lumberton and Wilmington following the storm, due to impacts on infrastructure.
"We have resumed all normal service to the port. Last night, the first inbound train arrived there," a CSX spokesperson said in an email Wednesday.
Bethany Welch, spokeswoman for N.C. Ports, said Wednesday that train was for general cargo, with another train arriving scheduled to arrive Wednesday night. She added that port officials do not have a timeline of when service for the Queen City Express, a double-stacked train service that runs between Wilmington and Charlotte, would resume.
Welch said the Port of Wilmington "did not suffer any damage to rail lines."
N.C. Ports sustained an estimated $50 million in damages, a combined total for both the Port of Wilmington and Port of Morehead City, she said. Welch said Thursday that there was an estimated $40 million in damages at the Wilmington facility.
Most of the damages at N.C. Ports will be covered by insurance, Welch said. For costs not covered, she said the ports will seek federal and state assistance.
“The extent of the damage was to warehouses at both facilities and about 160 empty containers at the Port of Wilmington,” Welch said. “All major infrastructure like the cranes suffered no damage.”
On Sept. 20, the Port of Wilmington accepted its first vessel post-storm, the Yang Ming Uniformity – operating on THE Alliance EC2 service linking Asia to Wilmington, according to a news release. Full commercial truck operations began Sept. 24.
And more of the Port of Wilmington’s infrastructure is opening up. The Port of Wilmington’s North Gate, Wilmington’s general cargo gate, reopened Monday, after being closed for Hurricane Florence clean-up efforts, Welch said.
In addition, the port extended its gate container and refrigerated cargo hours Monday and Tuesday, “to help customers get cargo into and out of the port following Florence,” Welch said.
The Port of Wilmington resumed normal gate hours Wednesday.