Coast Guard Conducts Hurricane Exercise

MIAMI – Members of the Coast Guard’s Seventh District continued exercising the district’s hurricane plan in a scheduled hurricane exercise at the Brickell Plaza Federal Building here today as they simultaneously dealt with sub-tropical storm Andrea.

Named three weeks before the recognized start of the 2007 hurricane season, Andrea added realism to the exercise scenario.

The exercise kicked off Monday with a fictional tropical storm brewing just north of the Dominican Republic, which later became Hurricane Tolbert, threatening the Bahamas and Florida.

The mock hurricane blazed through the Bahamas and made landfall early this morning in Miami, wreaking fictional havoc across the state. In the simulation, the hurricane churned across the peninsula to impact the Tampa, Fla., area.

Just as in the exercise, Coast Guard Falcon jets from Air Station Miami conducted pre-storm flights to warn mariners offshore of the approaching dangerous weather conditions. Numerous small-craft advisories, rip-current warnings and other storm warnings have been posted as Andrea churned the waters off the coasts of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.

“Andrea should demonstrate the need to be prepared for hurricane season,” said Lt. Cmdr. Chris O’Neil, public affairs officer for the Seventh Coast Guard District. “Our district scheduled our hurricane exercise to coincide with Florida’s hurricane preparedness exercise — it just so happened that Andrea visited us during the scenario. Andrea’s development further emphasizes the need to be ready. Not only do we have to help the maritime community get ready for a storm, we also have to get our people and our assets out of the way of a storm so that we can move in behind it as quickly as possible to save lives, protect property and the environment and to restore the maritime transportation system.”

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