PORTSMOUTH, Va. – The Captain of the Port for North Carolina set Port Condition Yankee for the Ports of Wilmington and Morehead City at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. The COTP for Hampton Roads set Port Condition X-ray at 4 p.m. for the Port of Virginia.
In Port Condition Yankee, the tropical storm force winds are anticipated within 24 hours and the affected ports are closed to inbound vessel traffic greater than 500 gross tons. All vessels greater than 500 gross tons without permission to remain in port, should have departed or should be prepared to depart prior to the setting of port condition Zulu.
Port Condition X-ray means the tropical storm force winds are anticipated within 48 hours. These ports and facilities are currently open to all commercial traffic and all transfer operations may continue while X-ray remains in effect.
All ocean-going commercial vessels and ocean-going barges greater than 500 gross tons should make plans for departing ports in the Hampton Roads COTP zone. Vessels desiring to remain in port must immediately contact the COTP to receive permission and are required to submit a safe mooring plan in writing.
Owners of pleasure craft are advised to seek safe harbor. Drawbridges may not be operating if sustained winds reach 25 mph or when an evacuation is in progress.
Mariners can view the latest port updates on the Coast Guard’s Homeport site.
The Coast Guard is warning the public of these important safety messages:
- Stay off the water. The Coast Guard’s search and rescue capabilities degrade as storm conditions strengthen. This means help could be delayed. Boaters should heed weather watches, warnings, and small craft advisories.
- Be prepared. Owners of large boats are urged to move their vessels to inland marinas where they will be less vulnerable to breaking free of their moorings or to sustaining damage. Trailerable boats should be pulled from the water and stored in a place that is not prone to flooding. Those who are leaving their boats in the water are reminded to remove EPIRBs and to secure life rings, life jackets, and small boats. These items, if not properly secured, can break free and require valuable search and rescue resources be diverted to ensure people are not in distress..
- Stay informed. The public should monitor the progress and strength of the storm through local television, radio, and the Internet. Boaters can monitor its progress on VHF radio channel 16. Information can also be obtained on small craft advisories and warnings on VHF radio channel 16.