Coast Guard sets hurricane condition X-Ray for Port of Baltimore

BALTIMORE- In preparation for the arrival of Tropical Storm Hanna, the Coast Guard in Baltimore has set port condition X-Ray for the Captain of the Port zone. This zone encompasses the Port of Baltimore, the Chesapeake Bay and surrounding areas.

Hurricane port condition X-Ray is set when sustained gale force winds from a hurricane force storm are predicted within 48 hours.

Under condition X-Ray:

Port terminals should remove potential flying debris, hazardous materials and oil pollution hazards from dockside areas.

Vessels transporting oil or other hazardous materials may be restricted or denied entry in to the port.

Commercial vessels over 500 gross tons should notify the Captain of the Port 24 hours prior to entering or departing the Captain of the Port zone of Baltimore. Vessels must notify and obtain clearances from both Captains of the Ports of Philadelphia and Hampton Roads, Va., before transiting through.

Drawbridges may not operate due to high winds or when evacuation is in progress. Because of the uncertainty of weather movements and related bridge closures, mariners should seek early passage through drawbridges well in advance of the arrival of gale force winds.

The Port of Baltimore remains open during hurricane condition X- Ray.

Additional conditions are based on a storm’s strength and distance from a port.

-Condition Yankee is set when sustained gale force winds from a hurricane force storm are predicted within 24 hours. The port will be restricted with vessel and facility control measures in effect.

-Condition Zulu is set when sustained gale force winds from a hurricane force storm are predicted within 12 hours. The port is closed to all vessel traffic and waterside operations.

As Tropical Storm Hanna approaches, the Coast Guard urges people to be mindful of the following safety tips:

– Stay Informed: The public should monitor the progress and strength of Hanna through local television, radio and Internet. Boaters can monitor its progress on VHF channel 16. Information can also be obtained on small craft advisories and warnings on VHF channel 16.

– Evacuate as Necessary: If mandatory evacuations are set for an area, the public is urged to heed evacuation orders. Coast Guard personnel and other emergency responders may not be able to evacuate those in danger during the storm.

– Secure your Belongings: Owners of larger boats are urged to move their boats to inland marinas where they will be less vulnerable to breaking free of their moorings or damage. Trailerable 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 secure life rings, life jackets and small boats.

– Be Cautious of Hazardous Materials: If you have hazardous materials on or near the water you are responsible for any spills that may occur. Take the necessary precautions to secure them prior to any foul weather.

– Stay Clear of Beaches: Even the best swimmers can fall victim to the strong waves and rip currents caused by Hanna. Swimmers are urged to stay clear of beaches until local officials say the water is safe.

For updates on port conditions in Baltimore call (410) 576-2682.

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