Military battling the weather on two fronts

The military is busy on two fronts: First responding to the deadly flooding in Houston and now dealing with the high waters and strong winds here at home.

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WVEC) -- For the military, it's a battle on two fronts as far as dealing with the weather. First, there is the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in the Houston area, and secondly there is this coastal storm to deal with right here in Hampton Roads.

As the unnamed tropical disturbance continued to pass, the Coast Guard early this morning went to Port Condition X-Ray, closing all commercial traffic into and out of the Chesapeake Bay.

"The safety of the port of Virginia is our top priority," said Captain Rick Wester, Sector Hampton Roads Commander. "The port of Virginia generates about $242 million a day. So it's a decision we take very seriously to restrict navigation and it's something we coordinate very closely with our maritime partners and stakeholders including the Navy."

Meanwhile, in Texas, military aircrafts are rescuing people who were hard it by Hurricane Harvey.

Coast Guard and U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Air and Marine Operations did their part.

Six local Navy MH-60 Knighthawk helicopters are in action, too.

The aircrafts are from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadrons 7 and 28 from Naval Station Norfolk's Chambers Field. Between them, the two squadrons have now rescued 227 people and 11 dogs so far.

Closer to home, the Navy amphibious ships USS Kearsarge and USS Oak Hill were still on standby to possibly be sent to Texas to conduct humanitarian relief missions.The Navy units would support overall DOD efforts led by FEMA.

No official tasking orders have been issued yet, and the Navy now says it will be Thursday at the earliest before they would depart.

© 2017 WVEC-TV


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