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  October 6th, 2016 | Written by

BREAKING NEWS: Port Condition X-Ray Set for South Florida Ports

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  • Ports are safest when the inventory of vessels is at a minimum during a storm.
  • Vessels bound for South Florida are advised to seek an alternate destination.
  • Port Canaveral in southern Florida was evacuated yesterday.

The U.S. Coast Guard captain of the port (COTP) set port condition X-ray for Port Miami, Miami River, Port Everglades, Port of Palm Beach, Port of Fort Pierce, Port Canaveral, and all other South Florida terminals and facilities due to the expectation of sustained gale force winds as Hurricane Matthew bears down on the region.

These ports and facilities are currently open to all commercial traffic and all transfer operations may continue while X-ray remains in effect.

Ports north of Florida started taking measures to deal with a possible hurricane hit.

The Coast Guard reminded mariners there are no safe havens in these facilities, and ports are safest when the inventory of vessels is at a minimum. All ocean-going commercial vessels and ocean-going barges greater than 500 gross tons should make plans for departing the port.

Vessels desiring to remain in port must immediately contact the COTP to receive permission and are required to submit a safe mooring plan in writing. Vessels bound for South Florida unable to depart 24 hours prior to threatening winds making landfall are advised to seek an alternate destination.

Pleasure craft are advised to seek safe harbor. Drawbridges may not be operating if sustained winds reach 25 mph or when an evacuation is in progress. Port facilities are advised to review their heavy weather plans and take all necessary precautions to adequately prepare for the expected conditions. If and when port condition Yankee is set, meaning sustained gale force winds are expected within 24 hours, vessel movement shall be restricted, and all movements must be approved by the captain of the port.

Port Canaveral has ordered an evacuation of personnel, and halted cargo and passenger services in preparation for the storm. The port was evacuated yesterday. As of today, no vessel traffic, including cargo ships, will be allowed in the harbor.

South Carolina is evacuating over one million people along the coast, including the port of Charleston. Governor Nikki Haley said the entire population should move at least 100 miles inland from the coast.