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Coast Guard sets port condition Whiskey for North Carolina

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THIS INFORMATION FROM A NEWS RELEASE SENT TO THE WWAY NEWSCHANNEL 3 NEWSROOM

FORT MACON, NC (USCG) -- The Captain of the Port for Sector North Carolina has set port condition Whiskey at noon for Wilmington and Morehead City due to the expectation that gale force winds generated by Hurricane Irene may arrive within 72 hours.

The ports are currently open to all commercial traffic and all transfer operations may continue while Whiskey remains in effect.

Threatening winds between 39 and 54 mph from a hurricane-force storm are possible within 72 hours.

Mariners are reminded that there are no safe havens in the ports and that the port is safest when the inventory of vessels is at a minimum. All oceangoing commercial vessels and oceangoing barges greater than 500 gross tons should make plans for departing the port. Vessels desiring to remain in port must immediately contact the Captain of the Port at 910-343-3880 to receive permission to do so, and are required to submit a safe mooring plan in writing. Vessels bound for Morehead City or Wilmington unable to depart 24 hours prior to threatening winds making landfall are advised to seek an alternate destination.

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 for North Carolina on the Coast Guard’s Homeport site.

Port facilities are advised to review their heavy weather plans and take all necessary precautions to adequately prepare for the expected conditions.

Mariners can anticipate the Coast Guard setting port readiness condition X-ray when gale force winds from Hurricane Irene are within 48 hours of landfall.

If and when port readiness condition Yankee is set, meaning hurricane force winds are expected within 24 hours, vessel movement shall be restricted and all movements must be approved by the Captain of the Port.

For information on how to prepare your boat or trailer for a hurricane, please click here. http://www.uscg.mil/news/stormcenter/

For information on Hurricane Irene's progress and hurricane preparedness, please visit the National Hurricane Center's web page at the following link - http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/ .

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