PORTSMOUTH, Va. (AP) — The approach of Hurricane Sandy has prompted the Coast Guard to restrict access to ports in the coastal waters of the eastern shore of Maryland and Virginia.

Coast Guard officials said in a news release Saturday evening that it has set Port Condition Yankee, which means gale-force winds are possible within 24 hours at the Virginia Capes. No vessel may enter ports along the eastern shore without the permission of the captain of the port.

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All remaining ports in the Hampton Roads region remain at Port Condition x-Ray.

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The news release says facility operators should contact Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads at 757-638-6641 to request permission for vessels to enter the port.

Anchored vessels should prepare for severe winds. Vessels should monitor VHF-FM channel 16.

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