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Press Release | Aug. 30, 2023

Coast Guard sets port condition Yankee for Port of Wilmington & Morehead City, North Carolina due to Hurricane Idalia

PORTSMOUTH, Va.  – The captain of the port of North Carolina set port condition Yankee for the Port of Wilmington at 7 a.m. and anticipates setting the same port condition for Morehead City, North Carolina, by 11 a.m. Wednesday due to sustained tropical storm force winds generated by Hurricane Idalia that are expected to arrive within the next 24 hours. 

Port condition Yankee closes the identified ports to inbound maritime traffic greater than 500 gross tons without permission from the captain of the port. All vessels greater than 500 gross tons, without permission to remain in port, should have departed or be prepared to depart prior to the setting of port condition Zulu. 

The captain of the port anticipates setting port condition Zulu for both ports Wednesday evening. In port condition Zulu, the port is closed, and all port operations are suspended. 

Owners of pleasure craft are advised to seek safe harbor. Drawbridges may not be operating if sustained winds reach 34 mph or when an evacuation is in progress. 

The Coast Guard encourages the public to: 

  • Stay off the water. The Coast Guard’s search and rescue capabilities degrade as storm conditions strengthen. This means help could be delayed. Boaters should heed weather watches, warnings, and small craft advisories. 
  • 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. 
  • Secure belongings. 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 sustaining damage. Trailer-able boats 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, lifejackets, and small boats. These items, if not properly secured, can break free and require valuable search and rescue resources be diverted to ensure people are not in distress. 
  • Stay clear of beaches. Wave heights and currents typically increase before a storm makes landfall. Even the best swimmers can fall victim to the strong waves and rip currents caused by hurricanes. Swimmers should stay clear of beaches until local lifeguards and law enforcement officials say the water is safe. 
  • Stay informed. The public should monitor the progress and strength of the storm through local television, radio, and the Internet. Information can also be obtained on small craft advisories and warnings on VHF radio channel 16. 

For the most current information on port condition updates in North Carolina visit

More weather information on Hurricane Idalia’s progress can be found at