Port condition X-ray set for Port of Philadelphia

5th Coast Guard District NewsPHILADELPHIA — The Coast Guard Captain of the Port set condition X-ray at 8 a.m. Friday for the Port of Philadelphia in preparation for Hurricane Irene.

Condition X-ray is set when gale force winds are expected within 48 hours.

The Coast Guard will continue to track vessels in port, maintain contact with emergency management agencies at the local, state and federal levels, and work closely with port and industry officials to minimize damage in the event the storm impacts the Port of Philadelphia.

As the storm approaches, the Coast Guard urges people to remember to stay off the water and clear of beaches for safety reasons.  The Coast Guard will be moving their assets out of harm’s way in order to be able to respond once the storm passes. As a result, they will have minimal search and rescue capabilities until the storm passes out of the area.

Pleasure craft are advised to seek safe harbor. Drawbridges may not operate if sustained winds reach 25 mph or when an evacuation is in progress. Mariners can view the latest port updates on the Coast Guard’s Homeport site.

Port facilities are advised to review their heavy weather plans and to take all necessary precautions to prepare adequately for the expected conditions, including securing fuel tanks and other loose equipment to ensure they aren’t affected by the increased wind and the potential flooding.

When port readiness condition Yankee is set, meaning hurricane force winds are expected within 24 hours, vessel movement shall be restricted and all vessel movements must be approved by the Captain of the Port.

For information on how to prepare your boat or trailer for a hurricane, please visit http://www.uscg.mil/news/stormcenter/.

For information on Hurricane Irene’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 and to plan, and to stay informed, at http://www.ready.gov/.

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