'Significant formation' of ice closes Virginia capes

The following is the text of a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard:

(PORTSMOUTH, Va.) — The Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads captain of the port set ice condition 2 and plans to close the capes to inbound and outbound vessel traffic at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

Ice condition 2 is set when there is significant formation of ice in navigable waters. Ice has been reported on Virginia’s Eastern Shore and in the Chesapeake Bay tributaries.

Coast Guard cutter Chock, home-ported in Baltimore, is currently underway to conduct icebreaking and other relief efforts in the vicinity of Tangier Island.

Mariners are requested to use extreme caution when transiting and to report any observation of ice accumulation on navigable waters to the Sector Hampton Roads Command Center on marine radio VHF-FM Channel 16 or at (757) 668-6635. These reports will be monitored daily.

The port will remain open to all vessel traffic and commercial activities without limitations until 6 p.m.

“The impending blizzard will cause a variety of maritime hazards, including strong winds, zero visibility, topside icing and heavy seas,” said Capt. Rick Wester, Sector Hampton Roads captain of the port. “Mariners should secure their vessels, stow any loose equipment, monitor updates and most importantly, stay off the water.”

By Professional Mariner Staff