As of Saturday morning, with the port shut down and no trucks running, there were about 5,000 2-ton bags of cement powder still on port property, along with an estimated 50 bags set aside and being treated as impaired in some way. These numbers are unofficial, but were obtained by a careful count of bags that can be seen from a vantage point at the end of Escambia Street.
The bad bags were carefully tarped and surrounded by straw bales. Another 3,750 bags in open-air storage were only partially tarped. Yet another large stash of bags is farther back in the port, harder to see and count, still in open air but with roofing over them.
Clearly, the cement exodus is not over.
Here is how departing bags are handled: Fork lifts hoist bags, one or two at a time, by their fasteners and move them into panel trailers pulled by semis. It’s slow-going. The parade of trucks on Dade Street. was unending — and at times blocking other vehicles — Friday and Saturday.
After the weekend, it might be wise to avoid Dade until the exodus is over.