UPDATE: The U.S. Coast Guard issued this release regarding the Port of Hampton Roads Monday afternoon:
The Captain of the Port of Hampton Roads set Port Condition Whiskey at 3 p.m. Monday due to the approach of forecasted severe weather from potential Tropical Storm 10.
Gale force winds are expected to reach the Virginia Capes within 36 hours. The Port of Virginia remains open to all vessel traffic and commercial activities, however, all mariners are advised to take prudent actions in preparation of the approaching severe weather.
Facility operators should make preparations to ensure all loose cargo, cargo equipment, and debris are secured safely. All vessel moorings should be reinforced. Vessels at facilities shall stow all unnecessary gear, ensure proper moorings, and carefully monitor cargo operations. Vessels anchored should make preparations for heavy weather and maintain a continuous listening watch on VHF-FM channel 16.
The Hampton Roads area may be facing several inches of rain, when a developing Atlantic storm makes its way up the coast.
The National Hurricane Center is tracking “Potential Tropical Cyclone 10,” which could escalate into Tropical Storm Irma by Tuesday morning.
A tropical storm warning is now in effect for portions of the South Carolina and North Carolina coasts, from north of Surf City to Duck, Albemarle Sound, and Pamlico Sound. A watch is in effect for Surf City to the South Santee River. The advisories are later expected to shift north to Southeast Virginia. NHC now puts the chance it will form into a tropical storm at 90 percent.
As of Monday afternoon, NHC’s Public Advisory reads:
The system is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 3 to 6 inches along the upper South Carolina, North Carolina, and southeast Virginia coasts, with possible isolated maximum amounts of 9 inches.The heavier rains may result in some flooding concerns along coastal areas.
Northeast winds and rain will make flooding more likely in Virginia.
The potential tropical storm is expected to spare the Chesapeake Bay and areas inland, as it moves north and spins off into the ocean.
The city of Norfolk is making preparations for potential flooding, and urging residents to have a plan as well.
And the Army Corps of Engineers is moving vessels to its Great Bridge Locks location ahead of the likely tropical storm.
For the National Hurricane Center’s latest updates, click here.
-Meg Walburn Viviano