CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The U.S. Coast Guard has increased the alert for ports along the Carolina coastlines due to the expectation of threatening winds generated by Hurricane Irene within the next 48 hours.
From Winyah Bay in Georgetown County to North Carolina, waterfront facilities have been asked to remove potential flying debris, hazardous materials and oil pollution hazards from dockside areas.
Also, ports should secure all hazmat and potential sources of pollution due to possible heavy rain run-off.
The coast guard recommends all vessels weighing more than 500 tons make preparations to leave, unless they've received permission to remain in port.
Inbound vessels that will be unable to depart the port if Port Condition YANKEE is set, are advised to seek an alternate destination.
Pleasure craft are advised to seek safe harbor. Drawbridges may not be operating as early as eight hours prior to the anticipated arrival of sustained gale force winds (39 mph) or when an evacuation is in progress.