Coast Guard Urges Residents to Stay Off Water After Hurricane Irene

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The Coast Guard urged residents and mariners to stay off the water Sunday and Monday after Hurricane Irene and to refrain from swimming at local beaches and in tidal rivers.

Tropical storm-force winds and heavy rainfall may have resulted in strong currents, marine debris and hazards to navigation.

Additionally, Coast Guard small boat station crews have returned from the inland staging areas where they deployed to during Hurricane Irene, but some are still surveying their assets. As a result, they will have reduced search and rescue capabilities until their resources are re-established.

Likewise, some Coast Guard aircraft have returned to Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., and are conducting damage assessment overflights. Their search and rescue capabilities may also be diminished.

Hurricane Irene caused considerable disruptions in Virginia. According to the National Weather Service, portions of Virginia received  as much as 16 inches of rain in some spots.