Captain of the Port of Hampton Roads sets Port Condition X-ray

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — The Captain of the Port Hampton Roads is setting Port Condition X-ray at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, due to the approach of forecasted severe weather.

This condition means that gale force winds are expected to reach the Virginia Capes within 24 hrs.

Based on the forecasted winds and waves at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, and the potential risks present, it has been determined that commercial vessels will be prohibited from entering and departing the Chesapeake Bay, closing the port to deep sea traffic, unless permission is granted by the COTP. This restriction will begin at 10 a.m. Tuesday.

Duration of closure: The length of the closure will depend on the actual wind and weather conditions. Currently, the closure is anticipated to last into the evening Tuesday. The COTP Hampton Roads will release further updates regarding the length of the closure or reopening the port.

Movement within the Port: Vessels will be permitted to move within the port, but should do so with extreme caution. Additionally, deep draft vessels anchored in the vicinity of Cape Charles are required to ask permission from the COTP if the vessel intends to transit within the port.

Vessels Transiting from Baltimore: Deep draft vessels intending to transit from Baltimore, exiting the Chesapeake Bay, will not be permitted to transit south of York Spit Channel Buoys 37 (Light List Number 7225) and 38 (LLNR 7230) during the port closure.

Special Consideration: If a vessel or vessel representative believes there are circumstances that require a vessel to arrive or depart during the time of this restriction, they may request an exception from the COTP. Facility operators and agents should contact the Sector Hampton Roads office at (757) 638-6635 to request permission for vessels anticipating to enter the Chesapeake Bay.

It is primarily the facility operator’s decision to allow vessels to remain moored during the passing of the tropical storm. Facilities that do not allow vessels to remain moored must provide them with sufficient notice to allow vessels time to move to a safe mooring, heavy weather anchorage, or depart to sea prior to 10 a.m. Tuesday.

All facility and vessel operators should continue to make heavy weather preparations to include ensuring all loose cargo, cargo equipment, and debris are secured safely. All vessel mooring should be reinforced.

Vessels anchored shall prepare for severe winds. Additional anchors should be made ready to let go and preparations shall be made to have a continuous anchor watch. Also, vessels should maintain a continuous listening watch on VHF-FM channel 16.

For a complete listing of all recommended storm preparations, facilities and vessel operators are strongly encouraged to review the Port of Hampton Roads Maritime Hurricane Contingency Plan. This plan may be found on line under “Local Contingency Plans” at: http://homeport.uscg.mil/mycg/portal/ep/portDirectory.do?tabId=1&cotpId=26.

Call (757) 668-5555, ext. 3 for a recorded message of current port conditions.

Visit www.nhc.noaa.gov for more information on the weather and its projected path.

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