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Press Release | Jan. 9, 2024

Coast Guard urges caution as winter storm impacts Mid-Atlantic region

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — The Coast Guard urges the maritime community to exercise caution as the Mid-Atlantic region is impacted by a winter storm Tuesday through Thursday.

Coast Guard Sectors throughout the Mid-Atlantic region are closely monitoring the weather and have issued Marine Safety Information Broadcasts (MSIB) to inform mariners of the weather. As forecasted predictions change, the captain of the ports throughout the region will evaluate if port conditions restrictions are necessary. Up-to-date port conditions are posted at the following Homeport webpages:

Gale-force winds have impacted areas from New Jersey to North Carolina and are anticipated to remain through Thursday morning. Sustained southeast winds between 25 and 35 mph are anticipated in the area, resulting in hazardous marine conditions. These conditions create life-threatening beach hazards, including dangerous rip currents and large battering waves.

Coast Guard capabilities may be limited during or immediately after the storm. As conditions subside, the Coast Guard will work to restore full response capability and conduct post storm assessments. 

“This storm is expected to bring dangerous conditions,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Aaron Malicki, an operations unit watchstander with Coast Guard 5th District Command Center. “We urge the public to think twice before heading out on the water, keep an eye on reliable weather sources, know your limits, and have a plan for emergencies.”

Further, the Coast Guard recommends the following winter weather safety and preparedness tips:

  • Stay off the water: High surf and strong rip currents will occur as the storm passes; heed warnings by local lifeguards, law enforcement officials, and NOAA.
  • Secure belongings: Boat owners should verify moorings, secure loose equipment, and store trailer-able boats (including kayaks, canoes, and stand-up paddle craft) in a place not susceptible to flooding. 
  • Stay informed: Boaters can monitor its progress on VHF radio channel 16. The public should monitor the storm through local television, radio, and Internet.