SUMMARY: This advisory is to inform you that due to the current track of Tropical Storm HERMINE, the Acting Captain of the Port (COTP) Hampton Roads will set Port Condition YANKEE in the COTP Hampton Roads Zone beginning at 6:00 p.m. on September 2, 2016. This condition means that gale force winds are expected to reach the Virginia Capes within 24 hrs.
Based on the forecasted size and strength of Tropical Storm HERMINE, and the potential risks present, it has been determined that commercial vessels will be prohibited from entering and departing the Chesapeake Bay, unless permission is granted by the Acting COTP. This restriction will begin at 6:00 a.m. and last until 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, September 3, 2016. Vessels will be permitted to move within the Port, but should do so with extreme caution. If a vessel or vessel representative believes there are circumstances that require a vessel to arrive or depart during the time of this restriction, they may request an exception from the Acting COTP. Facility operators and agents should contact the Sector Hampton Roads office at (757) 638-6635 to request permission for vessels anticipating to enter the Chesapeake Bay.
PRECAUTIONS: It is primarily the facility operator’s decision to allow vessels to remain moored during the passing of the tropical storm. Facilities that do not allow vessels to remain moored must provide them with sufficient notice to allow vessels time to move to a safe mooring, heavy weather anchorage, or depart to sea prior to 6:00 a.m. on Saturday, September 3, 2016.
All facility and vessel operators should continue to make heavy weather preparations to include ensuring all loose cargo, cargo equipment, and debris are secured safely. All vessel mooring should be reinforced.
Vessels anchored shall prepare for severe winds. Additional anchors should be made ready to let go and preparations shall be made to have a continuous anchor watch. Also, vessels should maintain a continuous listening watch on VHF Channel 16.
The Virginia Maritime Association (VMA) is monitoring TS HERMINE and is participating in planning calls with the U.S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port and other Port Partners. We will continue to follow the situation and provide updates as we are able.