Port condition modified Zulu set for zone of Delaware Bay

Mid Atlantic Coast Guard NewsPHILADELPHIA — The captain of the port for Philadelphia set hurricane readiness condition modified Zulu for all commercial waterways effective 6 a.m. Monday in preparation for Hurricane Sandy.

Gale force winds are expected within 12 hours.

Vessel must be securely moored or anchored and prepared for hurricane conditions.

Liquid cargo transfer operations will be suspended.

Mariners are also advised drawbridges will remain closed when wind speeds are 34 knots or greater or once evacuations begin. Because of the uncertainty of weather movements and related bridge closures, mariners are urged to seek passage through drawbridges well in advance of the arrival of gale force winds.

Coast Guard small boat stations will secure operations as winds increase in the area. As a result, there will be minimal search and rescue capabilities until the storm passes out of the area. The Coast Guard once again urges boaters to stay off the water and off the beaches.

“The Coast Guard has to move vessels to safe locations to be ready to conduct search and rescue missions after the storm’s passing.” said Capt. Kathy Moore, commander of Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay in Philadelphia. “As a result, our ability to assist mariners in trouble at the height of the storm is significantly diminished.”

The Coast Guard requests the public listen to weather information available from other sources and not call the Coast Guard for weather information.  For additional information on the storm, visit the National Hurricane Center Web site at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/. Boaters can monitor its progress on NOAA weather radio.

Information can also be obtained on small craft advisories and warnings on VHF-FM radio, and mariners can view the latest port updates on the Coast Guard’s homeport sitehttp://homeport.uscg.mil/mycg/portal/ep/portDirectory.do?tabId=1&cotpId=40.

Visit the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s website at http://www.ready.gov/ to stay informed and for tips on how to prepare and plan for severe weather.

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