NOAA tracks TS Hermine. NYC Emergency Management Watch Command


Just a few days ago, we were looking forward to a bright and sunny weekend and hosting our Great North River Tugboat Race & Competition for the 24th year running.

All that changed when Tropical Storm Hermine made a pin wheel turn in the gulf and staggered across Florida’s panhandle bringing high winds, flooding and damage in her wake.

WHC HQ exploded into a flurry of phone calls, emails and meetings, gathering storm track projections and wind and surge possibilities from Coast Guard, local authorities and seasoned NY harbor mariners.

U.S. Coast Guard Sector New York: “With the potential for tropical depressions and rip currents in our area, our overall concern is ensuring the safety of everyone on the water,” said Capt. Thomas Morkan, Deputy of Sector New York command center. “We want to stress the importance of safety to all mariners, personal watercraft users, and beachgoers as these two weather systems pass through our region.”

NYC Emergency Management urges New Yorkers to prepare for possible impacts of Tropical Storm Hermine. The National Weather Service has issued a Tropical Storm Watch for the New York City area until further notice. A Storm Surge Watch has also been issued for New York City coastal areas until further notice. All New York City beaches closed for swimming on Sunday.

That did it. As disappointing as it was to have to make the call, it had to be made and Meg Black, WHC’s interim Executive Director made the call. The safety of our guests, competitors, participants and volunteers comes first – we knew we had to postpone the race. We’ve rescheduled Tugboat Race day for Sunday 9 October, 2016.

Photo by ©Mitch Waxman


We do hope you can join us on Sunday October 9, from 10am-2pm for our 24th annual Great North River Tugboat race & Competition. Our Spectator Boat will depart at 9:30am. We’ll have all the competitions as planned – spinach-eating, feats of strength, line-tossing, tattoo boasting, and racing tugboats of all shapes and sizes!

Have a safe weekend everybody, and I hope see you all in October at the Tugboat Race!


posted by Mai Armstrong for the Working Harbor Committee