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Tropical Storm 11W (Halong), # 14: Guam resumes COR 4

Tropical Storm Halong is seen July 29, 2014, in a false-color satellite image.

8:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 30, Guam time: National Weather Service has issued seasonal Condition of Readiness 4 for Guam.


7:45 p.m. Wednesday, July 30, Guam time: The typhoon watch for the island of Rota and the tropical storm watch for Guam have each been canceled by the National Weather Service, with Tropical Storm Halong moving west-northwest away from the Marianas.

At 7 p.m., Halong was 70 miles north-northwest of Guam and 80 miles west of Rota, moving west-northwest at 10 mph, packing sustained 65-mph winds at its center. Tropical storm-force winds are extending 125 miles out from the southern quadrants and 90 from the northern.

Joint Typhoon Warning Center projects Halong to slowly begin curving northwest in the coming days.


5:45 p.m. Wednesday, July 30, Guam time: A typhoon warning remains in effect for the island of Rota, while Guam remains under a tropical storm warning. Destructive winds of 75 mph and more are possible for Rota and 39 mph plus for Guam over the next six hours, possibly longer, depending on Tropical Storm Halong's forward speed.

At 4 p.m. Guam time, Halong was 65 miles north-northwest of Guam and 55 miles west northwest of Rota, packing sustained 65-mph winds and moving west-northwest at 9 mph.

More damage assessments from Governor of Guam's Joint Information Center, issued in a news release:

The Liberation Carnival:
Carnival is OK. There is some minor damage to some structures and a couple of signs. The carnival will not be open tonight. The Mayor will be out tomorrow to reassess and prep Tiyan to ensure everything is fine to reopen the carnival.
 
Agana Heights:
Two families are sheltered at the mayor's office. They're able to go back home. Major complaints are floods and a lot of downed trees and downed power lines.
 
Agat:
Flooding and downed lines. Two families went to the office looking for transportation. Several downed trees blocked roads, and manhole lids were popping out of place. Our main concern is flooding on and along roads and public areas.
 
Asan-Maina
Flooding and downed trees made roads impassable. There also was sewage overflow.
 
Barrigada
Flooding happened in some homes and roads. Three families had to vacate their homes. Nearby ponding basins weren't deep enough and were overfilled. These families currently are staying with relatives and will need to find a place to stay when the weather's better. Their homes were filled with water, mixed with sewage. Refrigerators are floating in one home. Need money to fix the infrastructure or install injection wells/pumps.
 
Chalan Pago-Ordot
Small vegetation bamboo and tangantangan are blocking the road, not so much flooding – because public works last year trenched shoulders – so Pago Bay didn't flood. Neither did Mai Mai or Naki Street, which previously had problems before those circumstances were addressed.
 
Dededo
Several areas flooded. Several Dededo families used the shelters. A big tree fell on the roof of a wood home. We are assessing extent of damage. All the folks at the shelter were able to go back home. There also are several downed power lines.
 
Hagatna
We transported two people to George Washington High School, but the major issues were flooding at the West O'Brien Drive. Manhole lids popped open.
 
Inarajan
No calls or visits from residents needing shelter. Certain parts of the village flooded, and trees fell. There was a power outage last night in Malojloj but that was restored in less than three hours. Other outages lasted longer.
 
Mangilao
Certain streets flooded and a road washed out. There are several fallen trees and branches.
 
Merizo
Flooding is the biggest issue. It's a recurring problem year after year. Sewage also overflowed.
 
Mongmong-Toto-Maite
Two residents called because branches fell onto the power lines. Storm drains needed to be cleared because of runoff and rocks and debris.
 
Piti
Trees fell and blocked traffic.
 
Santa Rita
There does not seem to be any big problem in the village due to the storm.
 
Sinajana
There is downed vegetation. One ponding basin almost is at capacity. Another ponding basin is mid level.  Rain and flood water are seeping into homes, the church, school and businesses, but causing little to no damage.  Power outages were mostly last night in the Afame area and handled by GPA within two hours.  Power fluctuations are happening here and there. Trees along lines were trimmed or taken care of last night.   Some  MCV/DoCoMo lines are hanging low due to wet vegetation and vines.  Standing by and waiting for the all clear to begin damage assessment and cleaning. The village fared pretty well.
 
Tamuning-Tumon-Harmon
At about 6 a.m. there were intermittent power outages. Some other areas went out at 10 a.m. and still not on as of 3 p.m. – area behind Pizza Hut, near airport road, McDonald's area. Some of those are because of trees that fell on power lines. Some residents wanted to be evacuated from their homes.


5 p.m. Wednesday, July 30, Guam time: Guam remains in Condition of Readiness 1. Flash flood watches and warnings for Guam and its neighboring islands have been canceled. Tropical Storm Halong made its closest point of approach to Guam at 1 p.m., 45 miles northeast, but the island is still being lashed by the back side of Halong, the more dangerous quadrants.

Following is information released by Government of Guam's Joint Information Center:

Village by village: Assessments for recovery flowing in Governor, mayors work with agencies to respond to residents' needs JIC Release No. 8a Storm update, July 30, 2014

Guam remains in Condition of Readiness 1. Governor Calvo implores residents to remain indoors. The storm's closest point of approach may have passed, but it is leaving behind the worst of the winds and rains. It is now more dangerous to be outside than it was during the closest point of approach.

Our mayors and vice mayors spent the past two days working around the clock helping residents and leading their villages. Governor Calvo is preparing to shift the attention and resources of the government from storm preparation to storm recovery.

These are the Governor's goals:

i. Make sure families have homes to go back to.
ii. Restore utilities and resume government operations.
iii. Lead Guam's quick bounce from the storm and get the message out that Guam is open for business.

Problems reported by village

In order to reach these goals, there are fundamental recovery efforts that must happen. These include debris removal to open roads, relieving any sewage backup, repairing any streetlights and signs, and restoring power. The mayors of each village were asked to report damage in their villages following closest point of approach so that we all know where the problems are and how we can fix them. Here's the reports so far:

HAGATNA (Mayor John Cruz): There are reports of flooding by the river and a transformer sparking near Casa Ladera Apts.

AGAT (Mayor Carol Tayama): There are manholes overflowing at Bruce and Follard Streets; downed line from vegetation that fell on power lines.

ASAN (Mayor Margaret Blas): There were flooding on roads and barrels from nearby construction site were all scattered by the wind, blocking roads. The barrels were reported to the contractor to remove.

DEDEDO (Mayor Melissa Savares): There were several downed lines, including a power line that was taken down in Chalan Fanha. Another resident in GHURA 501 had a live wire that fell on their fence, creating a dangerous situation. The Dededo mayor's office worked with GPA to address the problem.

PITI (Mayor Ben Gumataotao): There was a tree that fell on a power line along Marian Pilling Street.

NOTE: We are compiling further updates from the other villages. We will provide these updates as they become available.

Most villages are reporting: Power outages, impassable roads, flooding
Mayors' office staff are cleaning secondary roads but are relying on Guam Power Authority and Department of Public Works to clear debris that is blocking primary roads and remove vegetation leaning on power lines and causing outages.

Downed lines

Here are some tips if you see a downed line:

i. DO NOT GO NEAR THE LINES.
ii. Call GPA at 475-1472/3/4 to report or comment on our Facebook posts and we at the #JIC will report it to GPA. Please include specific information including village, location and time.
iii. Even if the line isn't sparking it can still be "live" with a deadly amount of electricity. Keep people and pets at least 25 feet away from the line. Be very careful not to come in contact with anything the line may be touching. Especially avoid water, metal objects or even trees that are possibly touching the line.
iv. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO MOVE THE WIRE. Wait for Guam Power crews to deal with the situation.
 


9 a.m. Wednesday, July 30, Guam time: National Weather Service, Government of Guam and Joint Region Marianas have set Condition of Readiness 1 for Guam and its military assets and Rota. Destructive winds of 58 mph or greater are anticipated within 12 hours.


 

9 a.m. Wednesday, July 30, Guam time: Flash flood warnings have been issued by the National Weather Service for Guam and Rota until late morning. Heavy rain associated with Tropical Storm Halong is causing flooding as well as downed trees and other forms of debris in some areas. Halong has picked up forward speed and is now forecast to pass directly over Rota at 11 a.m. and 40 miles north-northeast of Andersen Air Force Base at noon Wednesday at just below typhoon strength. Guam remains in Condition of Readiness 2 and can expect gusts as high as 65 mph the rest of the day. Guam remains under a typhoon watch and tropical storm warning. Rota remains under a typhoon warning. Tinian and Saipan remain under a tropical storm warning.


 

12:45 a.m. Wednesday, July 30, Guam time: Tropical Storm Halong remains on course to pass 40 miles northeast of Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, around 10 p.m. Wednesday, packing sustained 92-mph winds and 115-mph gusts at its center. Looking at a direct hit on Rota, while Guam can expect sustained 60-mph winds and 86-mph gusts as Halong rumbles past.

Guam remains in Condition of Readiness 2; expect that to change early morning Wednesday. Guam, Tinian and Saipan remain in tropical storm warning. Rota is in typhoon warning. Guam remains in typhoon watch.

PST has been added to a very valued source of information, Guam's Joint Information Center, which has graciously passed along some valuable tips to help folks stay safe during the storm, whether on base or off:

Answers to your questions

JIC Release No. 3

Storm update, July 30, 2014 (12:20 a.m.)

The workers in the Emergency Operations Center and the Joint Information Center are Guamanians who also must prepare their homes and families during times like these. We understand the anxiety of waiting for a storm. We bring you answers to questions you may have.

Before going through this Q&A, we want you to be assured that Governor Calvo, Admiral Payne, and all the people needed to keep us safe and prepared are working around the clock. We have full confidence in your readiness. Guamanians who've gone through this before are pros at this. We're sure you've taken the steps we've advised you take. Whatever you do, there's no need to do anything with haste. Calm, cool, and collected works.

Is there a typhoon coming?

It's still too early to tell whether Tropical Storm Halong will move further from us or come closer. It could speed up or slow down. It could get stronger or weaker. There's still about 23 hours before the storm is expected to come closest to our island (something subject to change as well). The important thing to do is stay tuned to the news and radio for any changes.

Is it safe to go outside the house?

Not really. While we don't have typhoon-strength winds, we are recording increasing wind speeds that are not safe, especially for children to be outside. Winds in southern Guam are clocking in at 25 miles per hour. It's stronger in central Guam: 33 miles per hour. And in northern Guam, where the storm is expected to be strongest: 38 miles per hour. It's also raining in many places. All this wind and rain makes the roads slippery and more hazardous. It is weakening tree branches that can end up falling. Winds at these speeds can pick up loose items in yours or a neighbor's yard and throw them around. 

Can I go fishing, swimming, boating, surfing, or jet skiing?

No. Do not go in the water, even if it looks calm. Sometimes the strong currents are under the surface.

What do I do if the power goes out?

Call 475-1560 to report power outages to Guam Power Authority so they can fix the outage. Crews are responding to outages. Call our office, too, at 478-0208, so we can help get information out on the Governor's Facebook page, Eddie Baza Calvo. And, if your power is fluctuating (brown out), unplug your appliances to avoid damage, then call it in.

What if my house isn't strong enough for heavy winds and rains? Or if my house floods a lot when it rains heavy?

You should seek shelter with a family member or friend who has a stronger home. If that's not possible, or you prefer not to ask someone for this, you should seek shelter starting at 5 a.m. today (Wednesday) at one of the shelters we are opening. You can drive to the shelters directly. Or, you can go to your village mayor's office and the mayor's office will bus you and others to the shelters. The following shelters will open no earlier than 5 a.m. today (Wednesday):

  • North: Machananao Elementary, Astumbo Elementary, and Maria Ulloa Elementary Schools
  • Center: George Washington High School
  • South: Talofofo Elementary and Harry S. Truman Elementary Schools

NOTE: Do not bring guns, knives, other weapons, candles or other flame devices, illegal drugs,  or alcohol to the shelters. These items are absolutely forbidden. Pets also are not allowed, except for service-animals for the blind. Police officers will either be posted or will be constantly monitoring the shelters to keep families safe and enforce shelter rules for everyone's safety.

Should I go to GMH if I'm pregnant?

For civilians:

Not right now, unless you have an emergency. Otherwise, GMH will start accepting women 38 weeks pregnant or more and high-risk pregnancy mothers who are at least six months pregnant, at 7 a.m. today (Wednesday). Expectant moms must check in at the Patient Registration Department on the first floor for registration. There will be meals, reclining chairs, and pillows and blankets for mothers. They also must bring:

  • ID and insurance cards
  • Drinking water and snacks
  • Medication
  • Personal toiletries
  • Reading materials or electronics
  • Wet wipes

For military and dependents:

Upon setting of COR 2 U.S. Naval Hospital Guam duty OB/GYN will contact women who are 36 to 38 weeks or who are at risk of delivery. Those located nearer to 36th Medical Group will be contacted by the duty OB/GYN of the 36th Medical Group Medical Control Center. Those pregnant women not within the AAFB area of responsibility (AOR) who are at or past 38 weeks gestation or have a history of pregnancy-related complications that would be put at risk for labor during COR 1, will be called to report to USNH Guam for berthing upon setting of COR 1. Coordination of transfer for those located in the AAFB AOR will be handled by Commander, 36th Medical Group. Those who refuse hospital berthing will be advised that medical care or transfer to USNH Guam cannot be guaranteed after setting of COR 1.

What if I have an emergency?

If your life is in danger, or you see someone else's life in danger, call 911 immediately. IMPORTANT: If you do not have landline phone service, or if you have landline service that relies on electricity, keep your cell phone fully charged. This is the only way you'll be able to call 911 in an emergency when the power is out. If you see something blocking the road, call the JIC at 478-0208 so officials can remove debris. This is important because emergency vehicles need to be able to access the road.

Please call the Joint Information Center at 478-0208 for more information.
 


9 p.m. Tuesday, July 29, Guam time: The National Weather Service, Government of Guam and Joint Region Marianas have issued Condition of Readiness 2 for Guam. COR 1 is expected to be declared about 8 a.m. Wednesday, according to a GovGuam statement received by Stripes Tuesday evening.

The statement also said Tropical Storm Halong is intensifying and its forward movement has slowed. Guam can expect sustained 60-mph winds and 75-mph gusts Wednesday evening. Halong is forecast to track 41 miles northeast of Andersen Air Force Base about 11 p.m. Wednesday.

Non-essential GovGuam agencies are closed, and the Joint Information and Emergency Operations centers have been activated to ensure GovGuam and the military are prepared to keep residents safe.

The statement advises residents to put up shutters, store objects that heavy winds can move around the yard, have emergency storm kits in places easy to get to and pay attention to storm updates from the governor’s Facebook page, Guam Homeland Security’s Facebook page, radio stations partnered with the JIC and local news Web sites.

Keep a battery-operated radio with batteries on hand; it will be the lone source of information if the power goes off. Help your neighbors and friends prepare for the storm. Storm shelter centers will open at 5 a.m. before the forecast onset of heavy winds and rain, later Wednesday morning. Women in their 38th week of pregnancy or later can start checking into Guam Memorial Hospital at 7 a.m. Wednesday.


8:20 p.m. Tuesday, July 29, Guam time: A typhoon warning has been issued for Rota, just northeast of Guam, by the National Weather Service. Guam remains in typhoon watch, while a tropical storm warning remains in effect for Guam, Tinian and Saipan.

Tropical Storm Halong is forecast to make a direct hit over Rota while rumbling 41 miles north of Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, at around 11 p.m. Wednesday, packing 86-mph sustained winds and 104-mph gusts at its center. Andersen can expect winds of 50 mph or greater, plus rain, heavy at times, and scattered thunderstorms as Halong passes.

Where it might head after passing through the Marianas is a good question at this point. Joint Typhoon Warning Center's latest update shows Halong tracking generally northwest, and peaking at 98-mph sustained winds and 121-mph gusts Thursday and Friday. PST will keep an eyeball on it.


6 p.m. Tuesday, July 29, Guam time: With Tropical Storm Halong approaching from the southeast, National Weather Service, the Government of Guam and Joint Region Marianas have issued Condition of Readiness 3 for Guam and its military bases, JRM announced Tuesday afternoon on its Facebook page.

Winds up to 50 mph are expected along with rain and flooding as early as Wednesday into Thursday. Time to do a general cleanup around the office and home, dash quickly to the supermarket and supply up, visit the gasoline stand and the ATM; get enough money to last for at least three days in case the power goes out. COR 2 is possible Tuesday evening and COR 1 Wednesday morning or sooner, depending on Halong’s track and strength.


3:45 p.m. Tuesday, July 29, Guam time: National Weather Service on Guam has issued a typhoon watch for Guam and Rota as Tropical Storm 11W continues intensifying and moving toward the Marianas Islands. Joint Region Marianas says Guam remains in Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 4 on its Facebook page. A tropical storm watch remains in effect for Tinian and Saipan.


1 p.m. Tuesday, July 29, Guam time: 11W has strengthened into a tropical storm and the latest Joint Typhoon Warning Center update shows the forecast track taking it ever closer to Guam, making for a very wet, windy Wednesday evening and Thursday morning.

11W is now forecast to rumble some 35 miles north of Andersen Air Force Base around 4 a.m. Thursday, packing sustained 69-mph winds and 86-mph gusts at its center, just below Category 1-equivalent hurricane status. A tropical storm watch is in effect for Guam, Rota, Tinian and Saipan and a flash flood watch is in effect for all of the Marianas islands as a result of the storm

PST will keep a sharp lookout.


7 a.m. Tuesday, July 29, Guam time: As stated before, it's early in the life of a storm and much uncertainty remains regarding which way developing Tropical Depression 11W will definitively head and how much effect the Northern Marianas will endure. Latest Joint Typhoon Warning Center forecast track has 11W moving west-southwest at 10 mph and passing closer to Guam than the previous forecast: a direct hit on Rota and 38 miles north of Andersen Air Force Base at Guam's "top of the rock" around 5 p.m. Wednesday, packing 40-mph sustained winds and 52-mph gusts at its center. Guam can still expect winds between 25 and 30 mph and 35-mph gusts with heavy showers and isolated thunderstorms starting later today and continuing into Thursday. PST will keep an eyeball on this.


1 a.m. Tuesday, July 29, Guam time: Joint Typhoon Warning Center issued its first warning on Tropical Depression 11W, which at 10 p.m. Monday was 350 miles east-southeast of Guam, headed west-northwest at 5 mph. JTWC's initial forecast track has 11W veering northwest through the main Northwest Marianas islands group, passing 92 miles north of Andersen Air Force Base at 5 p.m. Wednesday as a fairly significant tropical storm. It's still very early in the life of the storm, hard to say what effects it will have on Guam, Rota, Tinian and Saipan. For certain, it will be a wet, windy Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday for all locales. Wind gusts between 25 and 30 mph along with heavy rainshowers and isolated thunderstorms could be in the cards for Guam and its military bases. PST will keep a sharp lookout.


3:15 p.m. Monday, July 28, Japan time: Folks on Okinawa can expect things to get windy and rainy starting Tuesday, Kadena Air Base’s extended weather forecast states at the 18th Wing Weather Flight’s newly launched Shogun Weather.com Web site.

Meanwhile, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center has issued a tropical cyclone formation alert on a disturbance some 375 miles east-southeast of Guam and heading west-southwest. JTWC also has upgraded to medium an area of convection some 750 miles southeast of Kadena, meaning the possibility of it forming into a tropical cyclone is medium.

Kadena’s forecast calls for a 60-percent chance of rainshowers Wednesday through Friday and winds starting to increase on Tuesday, 20 mph sustained and 24-mph gusts in the evening, increasing to 23 and 30 on Wednesday morning, 31 and 41 Wednesday evening and gradually decreasing after that.

Guam’s National Weather Service issued a special weather statement just past noon, saying it’s too early to tell if there’s any threat of wind for Guam and the Northern Marianas from the disturbance, but that wind will increase along with heavy showers and isolated thunderstorms starting Tuesday through Thursday.


10:30 p.m. Friday, July 25, Palau time: The tropical disturbance that passed Guam earlier this week and has been in various stages of development/non-development since, is now about 40 miles east-southeast of Koror, the capital of Palau, and in what the Joint Typhoon Warning Center calls a favorable area of development with warm sea surface temperatures helping that cause. JTWC calls the chances of it developing into a significant tropical storm in the next 24 hours medium. Still far too early to say if it will develop into something big, or which way it might go. PST will keep a sharp lookout, as always.


1:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 22, Guam time:The tropical disturbance PST first noted on Sunday has moved some 300 miles west of Guam over the past couple of days and no longer appears to be a threat to the island or others in Micronesia. Small-craft and high-surf advisories have been canceled for Guam and surrounding islands. Color radar shows the disturbance headed west-northwest toward the Philippines, but the track could change as the disturbance develops. PST is still keeping an eye on it.


5:15 p.m. Sunday, July 20, Guam time: PST is keeping an eyeball on a developing tropical disturbance, some 240 miles east-southeast of Guam and headed west-northwest.

Guam’s National Weather Service office says Guam can expect high wind and heavy showers through Monday. Joint Typhoon Warning Center says the disturbance is in a favorable environment for development.

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About the Author


Dave Ornauer has been with Stars and Stripes since March 5, 1981. One of his first assignments as a beat reporter in the old Japan News Bureau was “typhoon chaser,” a task which he resumed virtually full time since 2004, the year after his job, as a sports writer-photographer, moved to Okinawa and Ornauer with it.

As a typhoon reporter, Ornauer pores over Web sites managed by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center as well as U.S. government, military and local weather outlets for timely, topical information. Pacific Storm Tracker is designed to take the technical lingo published on those sites and simplify it for the average Stripes reader.