As Hurricane Florence approaches the Mid-Atlantic region of the US, port authorities in North Carolina and Virginia are preparing for disruption to terminal operations.
While the Port of Virginia and Maryland has set ‘Port Condition’ Whiskey, indicating that severe winds are possible within the next 72 hours, the Port of North Carolina has set ‘Port Condition’ X-ray, which warns of extreme weather in just 48 hours.
In port condition Whiskey, all commercial vessels and barges greater than 500 gross tons desiring to remain in the port must arrange safe mooring, according to a statement from the US Coastguard.
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Commercial vessels and barges greater than 500 gross tons, which have chosen to leave the port, must depart at least 24 hours prior to the arrival of gale-force winds.
In port condition X-Ray, vessels more than 500 gross tons should make preparations to leave the port if no safe mooring plan has already been submitted.
Credit: National Hurricane Center
The Coast Guard has also cautioned the maritime community to “remain vigilant and take the necessary precautions” as Florence approaches.
A further statement from the Coastguard reads: “Maritime and port facilities are reminded to review and update their heavy weather response plans and make any additional preparations needed to adequately prepare in case of a potential impact to the area.”