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Hot Port News from GAC

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Fernandina & Jacksonville, United States

Hampton Roads, United States

Florida, United States

Savannah & Brunswick, United States

Hurricane Condition WHISKEY retained
Wednesday, October 10, 2018, Fernandina & Jacksonville, United States

Effective 1100L, 09 October 2018, Hurricane Condition WHISKEY will remain in effect in the ports of Fernandina and Jacksonville. Based on the latest National Hurricane Center forecast, Hurricane Michael’s closest approach to northeast Florida and southeast Georgia will likely be Wednesday. Tropical Storm Conditions are possible as early as Tuesday evening and expected through Thursday.

The ports of Jacksonville and Fernandina remain open with no restrictions. It is important that you monitor the storm development as well as prepare for potential changes in Port Hurricane Conditions. Please review heavy weather plans and make any preparations necessary to safeguard your vessels and/or facilities.

Maritime interests are reminded that there are no “safe havens” identified within the ports of Jacksonville and Fernandina for a vessel to safely survive tropical storm force winds, or storm surges without creating a threat to the safety of the port and public welfare. All ships should coordinate and plan with regards to their evasion plan. Masters should take early and decisive action to ensure the safety of their vessels and crews.

The Captain of the Port does not anticipate setting Hurricane Condition X-Ray at this time, but will continue to monitor Hurricane Michael’s track and revise actions as needed. If higher port conditions are set, vessels desiring to remain in port during the storm must request and receive permission. All remain in port requests must be submitted to the Remain in Port Liaison Officer (RIPLO) at jaxdomestic@uscg.mil.

(For information about operations in the United States, contact GAC North America at usa@gac.com)

Source: U.S. Coast Guard, Sector Marine Safety Information Bulletin 045-18 dated October 9, 2018

Port preparation for Hurricane Michael
Wednesday, October 10, 2018, Hampton Roads, United States

Due to the projected path of post-landfall Hurricane MICHAEL, the Hampton Roads Captain of the Port has set Port Condition WHISKEY at 4:00pm, 9 October 2018.

Gale-force winds are expected at the Virginia Capes beginning Thursday evening (11 October 2018) and persisting through Friday morning (12 October 2018). The Port of Virginia remains open to all vessel traffic and commercial activities, however, all mariners are advised to take prudent actions in preparation of the approaching severe weather.

Hurricane MICHAEL is expected to be a major hurricane that will make landfall in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico. The Port of Hampton Roads is within the storm’s potential track area. Based on these factors, the Captain of the Port expects that this Port Condition will be reevaluated as new weather reports become available.

PRECAUTIONS: Facility Operators should make preparations to ensure all loose cargo, cargo equipment, and debris is secured safely. All vessel moorings should be reinforced.

Vessels at facilities shall stow all unnecessary gear, ensure proper moorings, and carefully monitor cargo operations.

Vessels anchored shall prepare for severe winds. Additional anchor(s) should be made ready to let go and preparations shall be made to have a continuous anchor watch. Engine(s) should be made immediately available for maneuvering. Also, vessels should maintain a continuous listening watch on VHF Channel 16.

For a complete listing of all recommended storm preparations, facilities and vessel operators are strongly encouraged to review the Port of Hampton Roads Maritime Hurricane Contingency Plan, Annex A, Tab C. This plan may be found on line under “Local Contingency Plans” at: https://homeport.uscg.mil/port-directory/hampton-roads

(For information about operations in the United States, contact GAC North America at usa@gac.com)

Source: U.S. Coast Guard, Sector Hampton Roads, Marine Safety Information Bulletin 18-227 dated October 9, 2018

Potentially catastrophic Hurricane Michael heading towards Florida Panhandle
Wednesday, October 10, 2018, Florida, United States

At 700 AM CDT (1200 UTC), the eye of Hurricane Michael was near latitude 29.0 N, longitude 86.3 W, and moving toward the north near 13 mph (20 km/h). A turn toward the north-northeast is expected later this morning, with a turn toward the northeast expected this afternoon or tonight. A motion toward the northeast at a faster forward speed is forecast on Thursday and Friday.

On the forecast track, the eye of Michael is expected to move ashore over the Florida Panhandle later today, move northeastward across the southeastern United States tonight and Thursday, and then move off the Mid-Atlantic coast away from the United States on Friday…

…Michael is an extremely dangerous category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale… …Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 45 miles (75km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 185 miles (295km)…

STORM SURGE: The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline. The water has the potential to reach the following heights above ground if peak surge occurs at the time of high tide:
– Tyndall Air Force Base FL to Aucilla River FL…9-14 ft
– Okaloosa/Walton County Line FL to Tyndall Air Force Base FL…6-9 ft
– Aucilla River FL to Cedar Key FL…6-9 ft
– Cedar Key FL to Chassahowitzka FL…4-6 ft
– Chassahowitzka to Anna Maria Island FL including Tampa Bay…2-4 ft

WIND: Tropical storm conditions are spreading onshore along the U.S. Gulf Coast within the warning area, with hurricane conditions spreading onshore later this morning within the hurricane warning area. Hurricane conditions will also spread well inland across portions of the Florida Panhandle, southeastern Alabama and southwestern Georgia later today and tonight.
Tropical storm conditions are expected to spread northward within the warning area along the southeast U.S. coast beginning tonight, and are possible in the watch area by late Thursday and Thursday night.

RAINFALL: Michael is expected to produce the following rainfall amounts through Friday:
– Florida Panhandle and Big Bend, southeast Alabama, and portions of southwest and central Georgia…4-8 inches, with isolated maximum amounts of 12 inches. This rainfall could lead to life-threatening flash floods.
– The remainder of Georgia, the Carolinas, and southern Virginia…3-6 inches, with isolated maximum amounts of 8 inches. This rainfall could lead to life-threatening flash floods.
– Florida Peninsula, eastern Mid Atlantic, southern New England coast…1-3 inches.

SURF: Swells generated by Michael will affect the coasts of the eastern, northern, and western Gulf of Mexico during the next day or so. These swells are likely to cause life threatening surf and rip current conditions.

TORNADOES: A few tornadoes will be possible across parts of the Florida Panhandle and the northern Florida Peninsula through this afternoon. This risk will spread into parts of central and southern Georgia and southern South Carolina this afternoon and tonight.

(For information about operations in the United States contact GAC North America at usa@gac.com)

Source: National Hurricane Center, Miami FL, Hurricane Michael Intermediate Advisory No.15A issued at 700am CDT on Wed 10 October 2018

Port Condition Yankee set
Wednesday, October 10, 2018, Savannah & Brunswick, United States

At 0900 on October 10, 2018, U.S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port (COTP) Savannah set (modified) PORTCON TANKEE for the ports of Savannah and Brunswick.

The COTP Savannah is requiring all inbound commercial vessels, barges over 500 GT and any vessels requesting to remain in port to submit information.

This information will allow the COTPO to determine what vessels will be allowed to enter or remain in the ports of Savannah and Brunswick during PORTCON YANKEE. Vessels will be vetted and allowed to enter or remain in port on a case-by-case basis.

(For information about operations in the United States contact GAC North America at usa@gac.com)

Source: U.S. Coast Guard, Marine Safety Unit Savannah, Marine Safety and Security Bulletin No.45-18 dated 10 October 2018

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