USCG announced that the Port of Virginia closed in anticipation of Winter Storm Helena, on Friday, January 6. After a temporary closure in response to Saturday’s winter storm, the Port of Virginia is now open.
Commercial vessels were prohibited from entering and departing the Chesapeake Bay. Additionally, movement within the Port of Virginia was closed to vessel traffic 5,000 gross tons or greater unless permission is granted by the Captain of the Port.
The forecasted snow and wind in the area was likely to create particularly hazardous conditions, to include zero visibility for those on shore and on the water. Due to the forecasted conditions, it may difficult for Coast Guard units to get underway to assist distressed mariners on the water.
“There is a real danger to all vessels on the water,” said Capt. Kevin M. Carroll, Deputy Sector Commander of U.S. Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads. “Recreational vessels and casual boaters are at a greater risk during winter storm conditions. Do not make plans to get underway, wait for the hazardous conditions to pass.”
The decision to reopen the Port of Virginia was made following evaluation of the port’s condition.
“The port is back open without restrictions,” said Lt. Ian King of Sector Hampton Roads’ Prevention Department. “However, we urge mariners to be cautious of and to report any hazards to navigation following the storm.“