Captain Kevin Carroll, commander of Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads in Portsmouth, Virginia, said he expects to close the port area to inbound and outbound traffic by noon on Wednesday.
Under port condition Whiskey, vessels over 500 GT must submit an application to the COTP if they wish to remain in port during the storm. Without a permit, these vessels must leave port at least 24 hours before the storm's arrival.
The Coast Guard has warned residents of affected areas to stay off the water; heed all weather warnings and evacuation orders; secure their boats and belongings as best they can; remove EPIRBs from docked boats in order to avoid unnecessary "distress calls" from devices that break loose in the storm; stay clear of beaches; monitor the news of the storm's progress; and, in the event of an emergency, to call 911 or make a distress call on Channel 16 — not post a message on social media.
The National Hurricane Center is urging residents in affected coastline areas to "rush to completion" all efforts to protect life and property. The potentially-deadly storm surge from Florence could be as high as six to twelve feet in areas between Cape Fear and Cape Lookout, and could be between four and six feet south of Cape Fear.
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