Port condition X-Ray set for Wilmington, Morehead City

FORT MACON, N.C. — The Captain of the Port Sector North Carolina and Captain of the Port Cape Fear River have set port condition X-Ray for Wilmington and Morehead City in preparation for the anticipated weather impact of Hurricane Earl.

This port condition is a change from the previous condition of Whiskey.

Gale Force winds 34 knots or 39 mph are expected to reach Frying Pan Shoals Lighted Buoy 16 light list number 835 within 48 hours. Pleasure craft operators are advised to seek safe harbor. To enter, transit, or remain within this zone, vessels must comply with the following requirements:

1. All commercial vessels and barges greater than 500 gross tons and all tank barges greater than 200 gross tons desiring to remain in port must complete an application and submit it in writing within 24 hours to the Captain of the Port to remain import.

2. Commercial vessels and barges over 500 gross tons and tank barges over 200 gross tons departing the port must depart not later than 24 hours prior to the arrival of gale force winds at Frying Pan Shoals Lighted Buoy 16.

3. Vessels bound for these ports that are unable to depart 24 hours prior to the arrival of gale force winds at Frying Pan Shoals Lighted Buoy 16 are advised to seek an alternative destination.

Mariners are also advised that 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.

For guidance on specific issues, or to obtain vessel applications to remain in port, contact the Sector North Carolina operations center at 252-247-4570.

A vessel application checklist may be obtained online at http://www.homeport.uscg.mil. Select North Carolina in the Port Directory. The checklist is located under the “Local Contingency Plans” header selecting the “Sector NC Severe Weather Plan” link. Once you have navigated to this page, select “Port Plan Vessel Checklist.”

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