(Updates status of Freeport)
HOUSTON, Sept 15 (Reuters) - The Texas ports of Houston, Galveston and Texas City resumed inbound vessel traffic on Wednesday, lifting the "yankee" status they had set ahead of Hurricane Nicholas, the U.S. Coast Guard said.
Nicholas made landfall on Monday and passed through the Texas coast on Tuesday on its way to Louisiana, causing minor floods and leaving over 400,000 customers without power. But electricity providers had restored service to almost three-quarters of the houses and businesses affected by Wednesday.
At the Port of Houston, which resumed normal operations at its eight terminals early on Wednesday, about 20 vessels remained to transit inbound and three vessels were scheduled for departure, according to a shipping report seen by Reuters.
The port of Freeport had also reopened early on Wednesday, but vessel traffic was later suspended due to leaking chemical fumes from a rail car at a nearby chemical plant, authorities said.
Freeport was one of the areas hit by the power outages after Nicholas made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane on the Matagorda Peninsula in Texas, also forcing the temporary shutdown of several crude and fuel pipelines.
Some oil tankers set to load crude for exports in September at Louisiana ports were diverted to Texas ports, where delays from Nicholas have added to demurrage coming from the previous storm, Hurricane Ida.
"Yankee" is a condition in which ports are closed to all inbound commercial traffic unless authorized by the captain of the port.
(Reporting by Marianna Parraga and Gary McWilliams in Houston Editing by Chizu Nomiyama, Matthew Lewis and Philippa Fletcher)
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.