NEW ORLEANS — The Coast Guard urges mariners and members of the maritime community across the Gulf Coast to prepare for Tropical Storm Karen.
According to the National Weather Service, projected paths for Karen indicate that it may make landfall early Saturday morning along the eastern half of the Gulf Coast.
Coast Guard units across the projected path have made preparations to maintain response after storm passage.
The Coast Guard will conduct post-storm assessments after the storm passes to include overflights of the port, aids-to-navigation inspections and resuming normal operations at all units. Unit personnel are not being evacuated, and standard duty crews will be maintained, although rescue response may be limited during the height of the storm.
The Coast Guard urges the public to remember the following during a storm:
- Stay informed. The public should monitor the progress and strength of the storm by checking the National Weather Service, local television and radio reports. Boaters can monitor its progress on channel on VHF-FM marine-band radio; small craft advisories are also available on channel 16.
- Evaluate as necessary. Mandatory evacuation orders should be obeyed. Coast Guard personnel and other emergency responders may not be able to respond to emergencies during a storm.
- Secure your boats and boating equipment. Owners of large boats are urged to move their vessels to inland marinas where they will be less likely to break free of their moorings or to be otherwise damaged. Boats that can be trailered should be pulled from the water and stored in a place that is not prone to flooding. Those mariners who leave their boats in the water are reminded to properly secure life rings, life jackets and fenders.
- Stay clear of beaches. Even the best swimmers can fall victim to the strong waves and rip currents caused by storms. Swimmers are urged to stay clear of beaches until local officials say the water is safe. Rip currents and undertows can drag swimmers away from their boat or the beach and lead to death by drowning when they attempt to fight the current and become exhausted.
- 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 these materials prior to any foul weather.
The Coast Guard also reminds mariners 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 32 mph 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.
For more information on the port condition in your area please click the below links:
Morgan City – homeport.uscg.mil/morgancity
New Orleans – homeport.uscg.mil/nola
Mobile – homeport.uscg.mil/mobile
For more informaiton on storm or hurricane preparedness, please visit the National Hurricane Center’s Web page at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/