Port Canaveral said the U.S. Coast Guard will close the harbor there on Wednesday afternoon until Hurricane Matthew has safely passed. 

The port’s landside operations were ordered evacuated by Wednesday at noon.

“This is a serious storm and the protection of people and property is our primary concern,” said Port Canaveral CEO John Murray. “We expect high winds and storm surge throughout the port and have urged the port community to prepare their facilities so business can resume as quickly as possible after the storm.”

Other Florida ports are also taking measures to prepare for Matthew, which is expected to approach Florida mid-day on Thursday.

Port Miami said the tunnel entrance to the port that passes under Government Cut will close at 1 p.m. on Wednesday. The port can also be accessed by bridge.

Both Port Miami and Port Everglades are operating under Coast Guard rules that require all commercial vessels to leave port. The landside operations at both ports remain open, but are on 24-hour alert in anticipation of gale-force winds.

Each port recommended that cruise passengers get in touch with cruise lines about itinerary changes.  Among the ship scheduled to depart Port Miami on Oct. 6 is the Carnival Sensation on a four-day Western Caribbean itinerary.

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