Coast Guard Captain of the Port closed the port of Kahului, Maui, to all traffic at midnight, Sunday and have re-opened the ports of Hilo and Kawaihae on the Big Island at 1 p.m., Monday.
Captain Shannon Gilreath, the Coast Guard Captain of the Port, has set Heavy Weather Condition II for these ports and is urging local mariners to review their heavy weather plans and to remain vigilant to forecasts for Tropical Storm Flossie.
“While we have not set conditions for the other ports, you should still exercise caution and prudence in conducting your operations,” said Gilreath. “Know your capabilities and your constraints and adhere to them so that we can all continue to operation safely.”
Tropical systems acquire a name when they reach tropical storm strength with sustained winds reaching 39 mph. They become hurricanes when winds reach 74 mph and become major hurricanes when winds increase to 111 mph. According to the National Weather Service, Tropical Storm Flossie could have sustained 60 mph winds.
As storms approach, the Coast Guard urges mariners to remember these guidelines:
- Stay informed: Mariners should monitor the progress and strength of the storm through newspapers, the internet and local television and radio stations. Boaters can monitor its progress on VHF channel 16. Small craft advisories and warnings are also broadcast on VHF channel 16.
- Evacuate as necessary: Mariners are urged to heed evacuation orders. Coast Guard personnel and other emergency responders may not be able to assist mariners in danger during a storm.
- Secure your boats and boating equipment: Owners of large boats are urged to move their vessels to protected marinas where they will be less likely to break free of their moorings or to be otherwise damaged. Boats that can be attached to a trailer should be pulled from the water and stored in a place that is not prone to flooding. Those mariners who leave their boats in the water are reminded to secure life rings, life jackets and tenders.
- Be cautious of hazardous materials: If you have hazardous materials on or near the water, you are responsible for any spills that may occur. Take the necessary precautions to secure these materials prior to any foul weather.
- Stay clear of beaches: Even the best swimmers can fall victim to the strong waves and rip currents caused by storms. Swimmers are urged to stay clear of beaches until local officials say the water is safe.