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Coast Guard getting ready for storms

Posted at 11:32 AM, Aug 23, 2020

The Coast Guard is adjusting port conditions, pre-staging response assets, and urging safety precautions in the Gulf Coast region due to a forecast of two tropical systems expected to impact the Gulf Coast this week.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Xavier Martian, a Sector Houston-Galveston Vessel Traffic Service watchstander, monitors ship movement along the Houston Ship Channel Aug. 22, 2020. The Coast Guard Captain of the Port of Houston-Galveston has established Port Condition Whiskey, which is set for expected gale-force winds within 72 hours, in preparation of Tropical Storm Marco’s landfall. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Kelly Parker)

Tropical Storm Marco is expected to make landfall Monday afternoon and Tropical Storm Laura is expected to make landfall Thursday. Monitor your local weather services to stay updated on any potential changes.

"We highly encourage people to stay off the water, be prepared and stay informed” said Petty Officer 1st Class Amelia Chutchins, District Eight command center, operations unit controller. “We haven't seen two storms in the gulf in about 60 years and they are both expected to make landfall this week, as of right now. Our crews are doing everything they can to prepare and are pre-staging response assets to be able respond to emergencies as rapidly and safely as possible once the storms pass.”

Lt. Jordan Kellam, a Coast Guard Air Station Houston helicopter pilot, conducts a pre-flight check of an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter to ensure the aircraft is safe for flight Aug. 22, 2020. Crews at Air Station Houston are standing by to assist those affected by tropical storms Marco and Laura along the Gulf Coast. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Kelly Parker)

Port conditions change based on weather forecasts, and current port conditions can be viewed on the following Coast Guard homeport webpages:

The Coast Guard is reminding the public of these important safety messages:

  • Stay off the water. Hurricanes and tropical storms can be deadly and our ability to conduct rescues can be diminished or non-existent at the height of a storm. Be prepared, stay informed and heed storm warnings.
  • Be prepared. 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. Mooring lines should be doubled in case of high winds. Boats that can be trailered 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, life jackets, and small boats. These items, if not properly secured, can break free and require valuable search and rescue resources to be diverted and may put first responders in harm's way to ensure people are not in distress.
  • Evacuate as necessary. If mandatory evacuations are set for an area, the public should evacuate without delay. Coast Guard personnel and other emergency responders may not be able to evacuate or rescue those in danger during the storm.
  • Stay informed. The public should monitor the progress and strength of the storm through local television, radio, and the Internet. 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 more information on hurricane preparedness visit Ready.Gov and NOAA websites, as well as following them on Twitter.