The following is the text of a press release issued by the U.S. Coast Guard:
(PORTSMOUTH, Va.) — The Coast Guard captain of the port set a port condition of ZULU for the Port of Hampton Roads due to severe weather. Set at 1 p.m., the condition established a safety zone that closed the port to all vessel traffic and vessel transits.
The Coast Guard anticipates remaining in the ZULU status until severe weather ceases. The area affected by this order includes all navigable waters within approximately 30 miles of Thimble Shoal Light. The Coast Guard also asks all mariners to be extra vigilant as the port can expect sustained gale force winds in excess of 39 mph during the next 24 hours. Cargo handling operations at all facilities are to be terminated during this time.
Vessel movement is not authorized without prior approval form the Coast Guard captain of the port.
The Coast Guard requests that the public monitor local weather information, and for additional information on the storm, visit the National Hurricane Center Web site at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/ .
The Port of Hampton Roads Maritime Heavy Weather Contingency Plan explains all port conditions and is available at: http://homeport.uscg.mil/mycg/portal/ep/portDirectory.do?tabId=1&cotpId=26
For media inquiries please contact Lt. j. g. Scott McBride or Lt. Jack Smith at 757-668-5580.