The Coast Guard has issued port condition notices for ports from Canaveral to Virginia.
With Hurricane Dorian now tracking towards the US, evacuations have begun in coastal areas along the east coast from Florida to parts of the Carolinas. Dorian is weakening as it heads towards the US, but its high winds are forecast to be accompanied by storm surges that could overwhelm coastal areas. The US Coast Guard has issued port condition notices for several east coast ports.
In Florida, the Coast Guard Captain of the Port (COTP) has set a “port condition Zulu” for Port Canaveral. This means no vessels can enter or transit the port without permission of the COTP, and vessel operations in port must cease. A Zulu condition notice has also been issued for The port of Miami.
The condition for the ports of Jacksonville and Fernandina has been set at the lower Yankee level, which means the ports are closed to all commercial traffic and operations must cease. “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. Vessels bound for Jacksonville or Fernandina unable to depart 24 hours prior to threatening winds making landfall are advised to seek an alternate destination,” the notice read.
The condition for the ports of Savannah and Brunswick was earlier set at X-ray, which means they are expecting sustained winds between 39 mph and 54 mph within 48 hours. Operations and vessel movements may continue, but vessels over 5000 gross tons should make plans for departing the port.
Charleston and Virginia Charleston have been set at the lower level “port condition Whiskey”. This means gale force winds are expected within 72 hours, but the ports are open to all commercial traffic and cargo handling may continue while the notice is effect. Ocean-going vessels over 500 gross tons should make plans for departing 12 hours before the winds are expected to arrive, but may submit a mooring plan to the Captain of the Port for approval if they intend to remain.