US Navy Ordered 30 Ships to Flee Biggest Base in Virginia for Hurricane Florence
As Hurricane Florence closes in, the US Navy has ordered 30 ships including aircraft carriers and submarines to flee the largest base in Virginia. The ships are prepared to leave today from Naval Station Norfolk and Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek. There will be some ships that remain at the port as they are still under maintenance. However, several precautions will be taken to prevent these ships from getting damaged.
The commanding officers said that they can take steps like let down more anchors, disconnect power lines and increase the number of storm lines to reduce the chances of damages. Jason Hinds has issued an evacuation order for F-22 Raptor and T-38 aircraft in Joint Base Langley-Eustis. These aircrafts are to fly to Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base, Ohio.
The sortie code alpha order which is the highest order, was issued by the commander of the U.S. Fleet Forces Command. The decision was made based on the current track of Tropical Storm Florence. It indicates that the destructive wind may hit the port in 72 hours and urged the ships to leave immediately.
The sortie order will be downgraded if there is a drop in the strength of the hurricane weather. There are also other sortie codes such as Sortie Condition Bravo. Sortie Condition Bravo is dispatched when the destructive weather is forecast to arrive in 24 hours. At this moment, they have not issued any evacuation order.
According to Adm. Christopher Grady, the US Navy ships are hurricane proof but it can more easily be destroyed when moored to a pier. The crew will take the ships to somewhere in the Atlantic sea to shelter from the storm. Naval Station Norfolk is one of the few selected sites licensed to perform maintenance on nuclear supercarriers and submarines in the US.
The governors of Carolina, and Virginia has issued a state of emergency and dispatched hundreds of troops of National Guard personnel to help in the preparation against the hurricane. The Federal Emergency Management Agency begun work in Fort AP Hill, Virginia. Many marina workers are helping to relocate the boats to safer ground.
They are doing some work to protect the buildings by the coast, for example, boarding up the windows of buildings and moving away its contents. The Marina recruits are also helping to put some bricks on the entrance doors to prevent water and wind from breaking it.
On 10 am Monday, the forecaster reported that Hurricane Florence has intensified to Category 3. Many of the areas on the east coast has been declared a state of emergency. Hurricane Florence is expected to arrive at North and South Carolina on Thursday.
Florence is expected to stall more than 20 inches of rain when it arrive on Carolina and head to Central Virginia. Many people are also pilling up sandbags to reduce water damage on their homes. Those who want to stay are stocking up emergency food supplies.