U.S. Navy issues “sortie code alpha,” sends 30 ships to sea

Naval vessels fair better while out to sea in a storm rather than being docked in port where they can suffer severe damage from heavy surging


The U.S. Naval Station Norfolk issued a “sortie code alpha” on Tuesday sending 30 of the fleet’s ships out to sea ahead of Hurricane Florence which is anticipated to cause more devastation than Hugo.

A sortie code alpha is the highest level alert issued to naval vessels by command.

“Ships will be directed to areas of the Atlantic where they will be best postured for storm avoidance,” the bulletin stated.

Fleet Forces Commander Admiral Christopher Grady made clear in a press release that “ships can better weather storms of this magnitude when they are underway.”


Hurricane Florence is expected to make landfall on Thursday along the Carolina coast.

A total of 12 nuclear power plants stand in the Category 4 storm’s path and two of the 12 are poised to take a direct hit.

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