Storm Update (12:30 p.m.): Tropical storm warning now in effect; officials urge residents to take precautionary action

Graphic courtesy Joint Typhoon Weather Center 

A tropical storm warning is now in effect for Guam, Rota, Tinian, and Saipan as Tropical Depression 20W moves closer to Guam and the Marianas. 

Officials said 20W will likely become a tropical storm by this afternoon. It is expected to be cloudy, with periods of showers, isolated thunderstorms, locally heavy rainfall, and strong gusty winds strengthening.

Guam can expect winds of 40 to 50 mph with gusts up to 60 mph, according to the Guam Homeland Security/Office of Civil Defense press release. 

Rainfall amounts of 2 to 4 inches for Guam and 3 to 5 inches for CNMI, with locally higher amounts in gusty showers are expected. Winds are expected to increase today, near tropical storm force by this evening. Combined seas building to between 6 and 9 feet tonight are expected, with surf on east facing reefs building to 8 to 10 feet.

The closest point of approach is expected between 9 p.m. and midnight.

According to the National Weather Service Guam Weather Forecast Office, as of 11 a.m., 20W was located 12.7 degrees north latitude and 146.0 degrees east longitude, about 100 miles east-southeast of Guam and 170 miles south of Saipan. It is moving west-northwest at 14 mph, with maximum sustained winds of 35 mph.

Flooding 

Excessive rainfall will cause localized flooding in low-lying and poor drainage areas, and rapidly rising streams and rivers. Check storm drains in your area to make sure they are not clogged. Make plans to protect property if you live near streams and rivers or in areas that habitually flood during heavy rain. Take the following preparedness actions now:

• Those living in areas prone to flooding should be prepared to take action; clear drainage areas and unblock clogged storm drains in your area to minimize the chance of flooding.

• Stay up to date with the latest information. The system track or intensity may change and advisories may be issued.

• Locate or prepare your emergency preparedness kits for your household; stock up on non-perishable food items and water for your household, flashlights, first-aid kits, batteries, matches or lighters, portable stove, toiletries, etc. Visit https://www.ready.gov/build-a-kit for more information on what to include in your supplies list.

• Secure important documents such as birth certificates, tax papers, and insurance documents and keep copies in a water-proof bag.

• Clear loose debris around your yard and store any items that may become airborne with heavy winds, before inclement weather arrives.

• Gas your vehicles and get fuel for your generators now while the weather is clear.

• Be prepared to take action if flood advisories are issued. Do not camp, park, or hike along streams, rivers, and creeks, especially during heavy rainfall. These areas can flood quickly and with little warning.

• Avoid hazardous surf and seas through Friday.

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