ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — The U.S. Coast Guard announced that the Captain of the Port for St. Petersburg set port condition Whiskey on Saturday as Tropical Storm Ian takes aim at the Gulf coast.
Under port condition Whiskey, ports and other facilities remain open and commercial operations can continue while it remains in effect. The Coast Guard is reminding mariners that sustained winds of 39 to 54 mph are possible within 72 hours and there are no safe places to ride out the storm at port facilities.
USCG said ports are safer when fewer vessels are docked there, so every ocean-going vessel weighing 300 gross tons or more will need to leave the port ahead of the storm. Anyone wanting to stay in the port during the storm should contact the Captain of the Port for permission. USCG said vessels heading to the port within 24 hours of tropical storm-force winds should consider an alternate destination.
As the storm intensifies and approaches Florida, USCG said port condition X-Ray will go into effect, meaning sustained gale force winds are expected within 48 hours. Port Canaveral and the Port of Miami are also under port condition Whiskey.