Coast Guard sets hurricane condition Whiskey for Port of Delaware Bay

PHILADELPHIA – In preparation for the arrival of Tropical Storm Hanna, the Coast Guard has set port condition Whiskey for the Captain of the Port zone of Delaware Bay. This 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 Intercoastal Waterway.

Maritime hurricane condition Whiskey is a heightened condition of readiness to indicate 72 hours prior to arrival of gale force winds and anticipated landfall associated with Tropical Storm Hanna.

Whiskey condition port status: open to all commercial traffic.

Maritime hurricane conditions are storm classifications to indicate the speed of approach prior to landfall. Conditions are, in part, based on predictions by the National Weather Service and imply the time interval remaining before the hurricane force winds are possible in the zone.

Conditions and specific requirements will be provided to the port via the Maritime exchange and Broadcast Notice to Mariners. Once requirements for a condition are complete, preparations should be made to attain the next higher condition if the situation warrants it.

Maritime hurricane condition X-Ray is a hurricane watch condition of readiness to indicate 48 hours prior to arrival of gales force winds and anticipated landfall associated with Tropical Storm Hanna.

X-Ray condition port status: open to all commercial traffic.

Maritime hurricane condition Yankee is a hurricane warning condition of readiness to indicate 24 hours prior to the arrival of gale force winds and anticipated landfall associated with Tropical Storm Hanna.

Yankee condition port status: vessel traffic controlled measurements in effect.

Maritime hurricane condition Zulu is a danger condition to indicate 12 hours prior to the arrival of gale force winds and anticipated landfall associated with Tropical Storm Hanna.

Zulu condition port status: Closed to all vessel traffic except for vessel movement and activities specifically authorized by the Captain Of The Port.

As Tropical Storm Hanna 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 Hanna through local television, radio and Internet. Boaters can monitor its progress on VHF channel 16. Information can also be obtained on small craft advisories and warnings on VHF channel 16.

– Evacuate as Necessary: 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 Hanna. Swimmers 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 gale force 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 gale force winds.

When in doubt or in case of an emergency the public is encouraged to contact Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay’s 24 hour emergency response number at: (215) 271-4940.

For further information regarding Tropical Storm Hanna visit www.hanna.uscgstormwatch.com and http://www.noaa.gov/

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