Coast Guard closes NC commercial ports for Earl

FORT MACON, N.C. (AP) - The Coast Guard is ordering commercial vessels and barges to stay in port until Hurricane Earl blows past North Carolina's waters.

The Coast Guard on Thursday ordered state commercial ports in Wilmington and Morehead City to close and told all commercial ships to stay at their moorings.

Coast Guard Petty Officer David Marin (MEHR'-ihn) says the increasingly rough seas and sounds make it dangerous for smaller craft to leave dock.

Boats that do venture out should seek passage through drawbridges in advance because they will remain closed once wind speeds reach about 40 miles an hour.

Marin says the Coast Guard may close commercial ports in Virginia's Hampton Roads early Friday depending on the storm's path and local weather conditions.

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