Coast Guard reopens Florida, Georgia ports

A Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew conducts assessments after the path of tropical storm Nicole November 11, 2022 in the southwest Florida areas. A port and waterway safety assessment needs to be conducted before a port can safety open for commerce.(Coast Guard video by Petty Officer 3rd Class Erik Villa Rodriguez

A Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew conducts assessments after the path of tropical storm Nicole November 11, 2022 in the southwest Florida areas. (Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Erik Villa Rodriguez

MIAMI — Personnel from the Seventh Coast Guard District are responding to the aftermath of Hurricane Nicole, Friday.

Hurricane Nicole has been downgraded to Tropical Depression Nicole.

Crews from Coast Guard Sectors Miami, St. Petersburg, Jacksonville, Charleston and Coast Guard air stations Miami and Clearwater conducted initial storm damage assessments throughout the region and responded to two urgent search and rescue cases.

The captains of the ports of Miami, Jacksonville, Charleston, Savannah, Key West, and St. Petersburg set Port Condition Four for the maritime ports in Miami, Miami River, Port Everglades, St. Petersburg, Brunswick, Savannah, Fernandina and Jacksonville following the passing of Hurricane Nicole.

The ports of Palm Beach and Port Canaveral are set to Port Condition Four with restrictions.

The Port of Fort Pierce remains closed under Port Condition Zulu until further notice.

During Port Condition Four, port facilities are open to all commercial vessel traffic and cargo operations may resume, including bunkering and lightering. All mariners are advised to use caution due to floating debris and report any abnormalities to the Coast Guard.

During Port Condition Zulu, the port is closed to all commercial traffic except for traffic specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port. Port cargo operations are suspended, including bunkering and lightering until further notice.

Mariners can view the latest port updates on the Coast Guard’s Homeport site.

As Nicole continues to travel across the east coast of the U.S., the Coast Guard reminds the public in the path of the storm of these important safety messages:

  • Stay off the water. The Coast Guard’s search and rescue capabilities degrade as storm conditions strengthen.
  • Secure belongings. Owners of large boats are urged to move their vessels to inland marinas where they will be less vulnerable to breaking free of their moorings or to sustaining damage. Trailer-able boats should be pulled from the water and stored in a place that is not prone to flooding. Those who are leaving their boats in the water are reminded to remove EPIRBs and to secure life rings, lifejackets and small boats.
  • Stay clear of beaches. Wave heights and currents typically increase before a storm makes landfall. Even the best swimmers can fall victim to the strong waves and rip currents caused by hurricanes.
  • Be prepared. Area residents should be prepared by developing a family plan, creating a disaster supply kit, having a place to go, securing their homes and having a plan for pets. More information can be found at
  • Stay informed. The public should monitor the progress and strength of the storm through official sources. Boaters can monitor its progress on VHF radio channel 16. Information can also be obtained on small craft advisories and warnings on VHF radio channel 16.

People in distress should use 911 to request assistance whenever possible, or VHF radio channel 16 for mariners. Social media should not be used to report distress.

For information on Tropical Depression Nicole’s progress and hurricane preparedness, please visit the National Hurricane Center‘s webpage.

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