NY Harbor post-blizzard operations near normal - Coast Guard

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Ship movements and oil refinery operations were near normal on Saturday in the New York Harbor, a key fuels distribution hub for the eastern United States, after a record-breaking blizzard slammed the Northeast on Friday.

Coast Guard officials cautioned vessels about some small debris in the water, but otherwise ships were being permitted to move about normally.

“Wind restrictions in the harbor from yesterday have been lifted,” said a Coast Guard spokesman.

Hurricane Sandy exposed the vulnerability of the fuel distribution system in the New York Harbor last autumn after retailers throughout New York state and New Jersey ran out of fuel when power was knocked out at many of the tanker terminals.

Terminals within the harbor are also the delivery points for the RBOB gasoline and heating oil futures contracts traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Oil refineries in the New York Harbor area were operating normally on Friday as the storm advanced.

New York City was spared the brunt of the blizzard, which dumped record snowfalls in parts of Connecticut and Massachusetts.

Reporting by David Sheppard and Robert Campbell; editing by Gunna Dickson