Coast Guard sets Port Condition Yankee for Long Island Sound

1st Coast Guard District NewsNEW HAVEN, Conn., – Captain of the Port of Long Island Sound reopens port to begin assessment and response from storm damage caused by tropical storm Irene, Sunday, Aug.28, 2011.

Effective at 6:30 p.m., Captain of the Port, Capt. Joseph Vojvodich, set Port Condition YANKEE and urging mariners to use caution as debris from the storm may have drifted down river and into the Long Island Sound.

“As a result of wide dissemination of information about the storm, the Coast Guard has not received any reports of mariners in distress through the storm,” said Capt. Joseph Vojvodich, Commander of Sector Long Island Sound. “We are continuing to work closely with our agency partners assessing the damage and have decided we are ready to reopen the port of Long Island Sound.”

Although downgraded to a tropical storm, Irene’s strong winds and heavy rains, which came ashore during a high tide, continued to wreak havoc on the low lying areas along the Connecticut Shoreline.

As the storm subsided, several Coast Guard units along the Long Island Sound, which had been evacuated, began returning to their bases to assess damage and put boats in the water. Coast Guard boat crews, who moved their vessels to a safe haven on the Hudson River, started preparing to return to their homeports.

Coast Guard response capabilities to urgent search and rescue remains restricted until a survey of the waterways is conducted.

Coast Guard Station New Haven sustained the worst damage from the storm. Heavy winds and the storm surged caused water damage as waves reached the units main building located just feet from the shoreline. The crew had secured the building and stowed their boats but had to evacuate just before the storm arrived.

The remnants of Hurricane Irene continue to pose a danger and waterborne leisure activities should be delayed for the next few days.

Stay clear of beaches. Wave heights and currents remain a danger. Even the best swimmers can fall victim to the strong waves and rip currents caused by hurricanes. Swimmers should stay clear of beaches until local lifeguards and law enforcement officials say the water is safe.

It is requested that mariners report any discrepancies to aids to navigation to the Coast Guard as soon as possible and continue to review NOAA weather advisories to keep alert to the latest weather conditions.

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