Navy orders ships out of Hampton Roads ahead of Hurricane Florence

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NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The U.S. Navy isn’t taking any chances with Hurricane Florence.

The U.S. Fleet Forces command ordered all Navy ships in the Hampton Roads area to set Sortie Condition Alpha.

A few ships left Naval Station Norfolk on Monday and will continue to do so over the next couple of days.

Some ships will not get underway due to maintenance, but will take precautions to avoid potential damage.

The Navy base is also taking steps to prevent damage.

Crews with the operations department have been working non-stop since Friday, making more than 15,000 bags of sand.

“We started on Friday because we had to get 20,000 sand bags ready. I have a personnel of 35 doing that and they worked around the clock 24 hours up till today. We’ll be doing this tomorrow,” said Ricky Harris, who is the department head.

Harris says the bags are for the more than 360 buildings on base to prevent water from getting in.

“When we get high tide, we have a lot of lower lying areas around base. Some buildings have a higher number so they have more bags,” he said.

The Navy has recommended not parking on base during the storm, but if it is necessary, to park near the middle of base where there is higher ground.

Harris says his crew will be hunkering down and is ready to respond to any damage on the base.

He recommends civilians should also take the time to get ready.

“Get water and any canned foods. Anything is going to go down once the storm happens like they say it is,” he said.

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