NORFOLK – The Navy's moving out ahead of Hurricane Irene.
The order to sortie ships was given around 6:30 a.m., 13News Military Reporter Mike Gooding reports.
The order applies to 64 ships. 27 are moving out to sea beginning at 8:00 a.m. Another 28 are being moved to other places such as repair shipyards that are safer than the piers at Norfolk.
Nine ships are already at sea.
The Second Fleet prepared Wednesday to move ships in southeastern Virginia.
The Navy says ships that are under way can better weather such storms and moving ships out also will help protect piers from being damage.
The Navy says its squadrons in Hampton Roads area will either hangar or evacuate aircraft on Friday. (Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)