Effective at 4 p.m., Friday, Capt. Linda Fagan, Coast Guard Captain of the Port, increased port conditions for the Port of New York and New Jersey to X-Ray, due to the expectation that gale force winds generated by Hurricane Irene may arrive within 48 hours.

Ports are currently open to all commercial traffic. The COTP will issue additional Maritime Safety Information Broadcasts as the storm approaches and port conditions change, including bridge or waterway closures.

Owners, operators or agents of all oceangoing vessels over 500 gross tons, and all barges and other waterborne structures being used for berthing must adhere to special instructions and timelines relative to entering and departing the port, cargo operations, anchoring and berthing.

Pleasure craft are advised to seek safe harbor. Drawbridges may not be operating if sustained winds reach 25 mph or when an evacuation is in progress.

Port facilities are advised to review their heavy weather plans and take all necessary precautions to adequately prepare for the expected conditions.

Mariners can anticipate the Coast Guard setting port readiness condition YANKEE when gale force winds from Hurricane Irene are within 24 hours of landfall.