PORTSMOUTH, Va. ─ The Captain of the Port set Port Condition X-Ray for the Port of Wilmington and Morehead City, North Carolina, Tuesday due to predicted sustained tropical storm force winds generated by Hurricane Idalia that may arrive within the next 48 hours. 

The Captain of the Port (COTP) of North Carolina, Capt. Tim List, strongly cautions the maritime community to remain vigilant and take the necessary precautions as Hurricane Idalia makes its way into the Mid-Atlantic.  

Ports are currently open to all commercial traffic and all transfer operations may continue while X-Ray remains in effect.  

All ocean-going commercial vessels and barges greater than 500 gross tons should make plans for departing port. Vessels desiring to remain in port are required to submit a mooring plan to the Captain of the Port for approval.  

Owners of pleasure craft are advised to closely monitor weather reports and seek safe harbor well before storm conditions arrive. Drawbridges may not be operating if sustained winds reach 25 mph or when an evacuation is in progress.  

If port conditions are elevated as tropical storm force winds approach, vessel movements will be restricted, and all movements must be approved by the COTP.   

“The Coast Guard reminds the public when hurricane or tropical storm force winds are present to stay off the water and clear of beaches,” said Capt. Tim List, Commander Sector North Carolina. “The Coast Guard’s search and rescue capabilities degrade as storm conditions strengthen. This may delay help. Heed weather watches, warnings, and small craft advisories. Evacuate as necessary. Coast Guard personnel and other emergency responders may not be able to evacuate or rescue those in danger during the storm. The public should monitor the progress and strength of the storm through local media means. Boaters can also receive information on VHF radio channel 16.”

The Coast Guard is advising the public to: 

  • Secure belongings.  Owners of large boats are urged to move their vessels to inland marinas where they will be less vulnerable to breaking free of their moorings or to sustaining damage. Trailer-able boats should be pulled from the water and stored in a place that is not prone to flooding. Those who are leaving their boats in the water are reminded to remove EPIRBs and to secure life rings, lifejackets and small boats. These items, if not properly secured, can break free, and require valuable search and rescue resources be diverted to ensure people are not in distress. 
  • Be prepared. Area residents should be prepared by developing a family plan, creating a disaster supply kit, having a place to go, securing their home and having a plan for pets. Information can be found at the National Hurricane Center’s webpage. 
  • Be informed. The public should monitor the progress and strength of the storm through local television, radio and Internet. Refer to county and local authorities for domestic warnings and guidance. Boaters can monitor its progress on VHF radio channel 16. Information can also be obtained on small craft advisories and warnings on VHF radio channel 16.   

For the most current information on port condition updates in North Carolina visit https://homeport.uscg.mil/port-directory/north-carolina

More weather information on Tropical Storm Idalia’s progress can be found at https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/