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Bases at alert level
Local Navy installations were on heightened states of alert, and the Washington State Ferries stopped carrying cars, as Kitsap County responded to likely terrorist bombings in New York City and Washington, D.C. Tuesday morning.The Department of Defense reported all military installations, including Kitsap Navy bases, remained at alert level delta Wednesday morning. Delta is the highest level of alert possible.Local Navy officials were asking only essential personnel to report to work until the alert level is reduced. Access to local bases also has been restricted to the following entrances:* Naval Station Bremerton - Naval Avenue gate only.* Submarine Base Bangor - Trigger Avenue and Main gates.A 25-mile no-fly zone was instituted around Bangor, and long lines developed at gates to bases. Wednesday morning, lines at Bangor stretched an estimated two to three miles, including on State Route 3.All general visitation to Navy bases, Navy exchanges and commissaries are closed until further notice. Clinics at Naval Hospital Bremerton are closed, although emergency cases and inpatients (including expectant mothers) will be treated at the main hospital. Also closed are Naval Hospital's Branch Medical Clinics on Submarine Base Bangor, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Naval Station Everett.Family members concerned about Navy personnel at the Pentagon can call (877) 663-6772. Family members may also contact Army representatives at (800) 984-8523 or (703) 428-0002 and Air Force representatives at (800) 253-9276.Two ships stationed at Naval Station Everett also are in the area. The frigate USS Ford is stationed in Sinclair Inlet near Bremerton, presumably to protect the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Naval Station Bremerton.The USS Fife, a destroyer, has been spotted in Hood Canal near Bangor. A third, the frigate David R. Ray, is stationed in Elliot Bay.The state ferry system resumed car service on Kitsap runs Tuesday afternoon. The state ferry system, citing the threat of car bombs, was not boarding cars Tuesday morning from Bremerton, Bainbridge Island, Southworth, Kingston or Seattle terminals. Ferries continued to run between Kitsap and Seattle, however, with walk-on passengers.Central Kitsap public schools operated on a normal schedule Tuesday, according to a notice posted on the school district Web site. All after-school and Community Schools activities Tuesday afternoon and evening were cancelled.Central Kitsap School District (CKSD) buses also stopped picking up students who live on Subase Bangor at 9 a.m. Tuesday. The district also cancelled afternoon kindergarten and preschool pickup at Bangor.We've been working with our school principals and counselors to ensure that as kids need help dealing with possible emotional repercussions, they can get it, according to district spokeswoman Jeanie Schulze.