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US Navy directs ships to leave Norfolk to avoid hurricane

12 September 2018
The guided-missile destroyer USS Nitze (DDG 94) departs Naval Station Norfolk after the announcement of Sortie Condition Alpha ahead of Hurricane Florence. Source: US Navy

US Fleet Forces (USFF) Command ordered all US Navy (USN) ships in Virginia’s Hampton Roads area, including Naval Station Norfolk, to set Sortie Condition Alpha on 10 September to begin to sortie and leave the immediate area to avoid Hurricane Florence.

Hurricane Florence is forecast to bring high winds and rain to the US Mid-Atlantic Coast and nearly 30 ships have been getting under way from Naval Station Norfolk and Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek, USN officials said. Ships will be directed to areas of the Atlantic where they will be best postured to avoid the storm.

Some units will not get under way due to maintenance status, USN officials said, but will be taking extra precautions to avoid potential damage. Commanding officers have a number of options when staying in port, depending on the severity of the weather, such as adding mooring and storm lines, dropping the anchor, and disconnecting shore power cables.

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