Coast Guard opens Virginia ports as Florence makes landfall south

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. — The U.S. Coast Guard has announced port openings after Hurricane Florence stayed south.

Officials said Virginia ports saw limited impact by the storm, which made landfall Friday as a Category 1 Hurricane.

The Captain of the Port of Hampton Roads suspended all port operations ahead of Florence nearing the East Coast earlier this week.

“Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads is coordinating very closely with our port partners to ensure a quick and safe recovery from Hurricane Florence,” said Capt. Kevin Carroll, the commander of Sector Hampton Roads. “Our number one priority is saving lives and preventing life-endangering activities on our waterways. After that, restoring the free-flow of vessel traffic is a top priority, and we realize that our port and personnel could be critical in assisting areas that were more heavily impacted by the storm.”

Part of the reason for the Coast Guard monitoring ports during storms is to ensure with port partners that vessels can safely transit, tie up and receive services, offload their cargo and return to sea.

The Coast Guard said it will continue to broadcast to mariners and send out Marine Safety Information Bulletins to notify the maritime community as needed.