Coast Guard News
5th District Public Affairs
U.S. Coast Guard
Date: Oct. 26, 2012
Contact: PADET Atlantic City
Office: (609) 813-3889
Coast Guard urges boaters, public to prepare for Hurricane Sandy
Port condition Whiskey set for zone of Delaware Bay
PHILADELPHIA ─ The Coast Guard has set port condition Whiskey for the captain of the port zone of Delaware Bay due to the expectation of gale force winds generated by Hurricane Sandy within 72 hours.
The port is currently open to all commercial traffic, and all transfer operations may continue while Whiskey remains in effect.
The affected area includes the Delaware River and Bay, the coast of Delaware and portions of the coast of New Jersey, all adjacent navigable waters in the states of Delaware, portions of New Jersey and the eastern coast of Pennsylvania including the Intracoastal Waterway.
Commercial mariners can anticipate the Coast Guard setting port readiness condition X-ray no later than 48 hours before gale force winds from Hurricane Sandy are expected to make 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.
As Hurricane Sandy approaches, the Coast Guard urges people to be mindful of the following safety tips:
- Stay informed: The public should monitor the progress and strength of Sandy through local television, radio and Internet. Information can also be obtained on small craft advisories and warnings on VHF radio channel 16.
- Evacuate as directed by state and local officials: If mandatory evacuations are set for an area, the public is urged to heed evacuation orders. Coast Guard personnel and other emergency responders may not be able to evacuate those in danger during the storm.
- Secure your belongings: Owners of larger boats are urged to move their boats to inland marinas where they will be less vulnerable to breaking free of their moorings or 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 secure life rings, life jackets and small boats.
- Be cautious of hazardous materials: If you have hazardous materials on or near the water you are responsible for any spills that may occur. Take the necessary precautions to secure them prior to any foul weather.
- Stay clear of beaches: Even the best swimmers can fall victim to the strong waves and rip currents caused by Sandy. Surfers are urged to stay clear of beaches until local officials say the water is safe.
Mariners are reminded that drawbridges along the coast may deviate from normal operating procedures prior to a storm. They are generally authorized to remain closed up to eight hours prior to the approach of winds of 34 knots or greater, and whenever an evacuation is ordered. Because of the uncertainty of weather movements and related bridge closures, mariners should seek early passage through drawbridges well in advance of the arrival of hurricane force winds.
For information on how to prepare your boat or trailer for a hurricane, please view the following site http://www.uscg.mil/news/stormcenter/.
For information on Hurricane Sandy's progress and hurricane preparedness, please visit the National Hurricane Center's web page at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/.
Visit the Federal Emergency Management Agency's site for tips to prepare, plan and stay informed at http://www.ready.gov/.
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