At 1600 local time on October 26, 2020, in preparation for the approaching Hurricane ZETA, the Captain of the Port (COTP) New Orleans will set Port Condition X-RAY in accordance with the Maritime Hurricane Contingency Port Plan (MHCPP) found at https://homeport.uscg.mil/port-directory/new-orleans.
Port Status: Open to all commercial traffic.
RNA Status: The Coast Guard has established a regulated navigation area (RNA) for the canals adjoining the Mississippi River. At this time, neither RNA is activated. However, the provisions of the RNA will be enforced beginning 24 hours in advance of the predicted closure of the Lake Borgne Surge Barrier or West Closure Complex navigation gates. Vessels will not be permitted to stay in the RNA past 24 hours in advance of and through the storm passage if the RNA is activated, except those vessels moored at a Facility with an Annual Hurricane Operations (72 Hour Storm Specific Verification Report Form listed in the attachments below shall be submitted). Alternate routes exist for vessels to transit around or depart from the RNA. Mariners using the GIWW Alternate Route should be aware of shoaling found in the vicinity of Buoy 22 (mile 1.7) in Baptiste Collette; refer to https://hydrosurvey.mvn.usace.army.mil/navpgs/n_outlets_at_venice.asp for the updated USACE survey of the area.
All vessels entering and departing the COTP Zone New Orleans are reminded to update their Notice of Arrival with any changes to their arrival or departure information (33 Code of Federal Regulations 160.208, 33 CFR 160.212). The COTP has also outlined specific port preparation requirements and recommendations in the MHCPP.
Mariners are advised that drawbridges will close when wind speeds exceed 35 mph or once evacuation begins. As a result, mariners are urged to seek passage through drawbridges well in advance of the arrival of gale force winds. For most up to date bridge information please contact Coast Guard District Eight Bridges at D8DPBALL@uscg.mil.
Vessel owners and operators are reminded of the “Mile Marker (MM) 73 Memorandum of Agreement (MOA)” providing barge fleet owners and operators with policy and guidance for the fleeting of barges in this area during hurricane season. At this time, the Coast Guard does not intend to implement the safety zone for river evacuation below MM 73. However, these requirements will be discussed on the Port Coordination Team conference calls and reassessed as needed, and barges should be moored in accordance with the standards set forth in the MOA (found at https://homeport.uscg.mil/port-directory/new-orleans).
Port partners and mariners are cautioned that the COTP New Orleans may quickly set Port Condition YANKEE and further conditions as the situation develops. You are strongly encouraged to review your existing hurricane plan, take actions to minimize risk, and be prepared to evacuate, if necessary. For recommended precautionary measures and storm preparation checklists refer to MHCPP found at https://homeport.uscg.mil/port-directory/new-orleans. Vessels intending to remain in the port must submit a Remaining-in-Port Checklist to the Vessel Traffic Service Lower Mississippi River (VTS) as listed below.
(1) Waterfront FACILITIES Storm Preparation Checklist (Port Condition X-RAY) – submit via email to FacilitiesNOLA@uscg.mil or D08-DG-MSUBatonRouge-Bullpen@uscg.mil
(2) VESSEL Remaining In Port Checklist Reporting Tool – submit within 24 hours to Vessel Traffic Service via email D08-PF-VTSNewOrleans-LMR@uscg.mil or fax at (504) 365-2519
(3) RNA FACILITIES with AHOP – 72 Hour Storm Specific Verification Report – submit via email to SecNOLA-WPM@uscg.mil
For additional information, contact the following:
Waterways Management: SecNOLA-WPM@uscg.mil
Sector New Orleans Command Center (24 hour): (504) 365-2200
Vessel Traffic Center (24 Hour): (504) 365-2514 or VHF-FM channels 5A, 12, or 67
Coast Guard District Eight Bridges: (504) 671-2128 or D8DPBALL@uscg.mil
National Response Center (24 Hour): 1-800-424-8802