The Coast Guard closed both Hilo and Kawaihae harbors as of 11 a.m. today in advance of Hurricane Hector.
Coast Guard personnel are on the Big Island doing pre-storm assessments of the ports. Ports are closed to inbound traffic, and vessel traffic control measures are in effect on vessel movements within the port.
“Hector is forecast to pass almost 200 miles to the south of the Big Island, but we will not be complacent as storm tracks may shift and we can expect some severe winds,” said Capt. Michael Long, captain of the Port of Honolulu. “The residents of the main Hawaiian Islands are dependent on the ports. I am committed to ensuring the safety of commerce and seeing the ports return to our seasonal readiness status as soon as is practical to do so.”
All pleasure craft are directed to seek sheltered waters and all ocean-going vessels and barges of 200 gross tons and above, without an approved application to remain in port, shall make preparations to depart port before the setting of port condition Zulu.
If and when the captain of the port sets port condition Zulu, which means sustained gale-force winds are anticipated within 12 hours, all activity will be suspended, and the ports will close until the storm has passed and damage assessment surveys are completed.
Mariners are reminded that our facilities and ports are safest when the inventory of vessels is at a minimum.