Guam likely to be spared hit from season’s first typhoon
Guam appeared Monday as if it would escape the full wrath of Kong-rey.
The first storm of the northwest Pacific’s tropical cyclone season strengthened into a typhoon early Monday morning, but began veering away from Guam around midday as it rumbled north-northwest toward Saipan, well to Guam’s north.
A typhoon warning for Guam and Rota was canceled Monday evening, but remained in effect for Tinian and Saipan.
Joint Typhoon Warning Center forecasts called for Kong-rey to slam directly into Saipan, passing Guam more than 160 miles to the north of Andersen Air Force Base, though Guam was still bracing for gusts of up to 30 mph and 1 to 2 inches of rain, National Weather Service officials said.
Tinian and Saipan were bracing for “typhoon-strength winds” early Tuesday as Kong-rey’s eye passed the island chain, while Rota to the south could expect “severe tropical storm” winds, said Chip Guard, warning coordinator meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Guam forecast office.
With Kong-rey steering away from the island, Guam’s military installations were expected to return to business as usual Tuesday.
“We’re going to continue to monitor the storm and see if it changes course or intensifies,” Commander, Naval Forces Marianas spokesman Lt. Donnell Evans said Monday afternoon by telephone.
Military and civilians at Andersen and U.S. Naval Base Guam were told Monday afternoon to report for duty as normal on Tuesday.
Still, personnel at both installations were reminded to remain vigilant.
“We’re advising the public to make the necessary preparations for now and the rest of the season to be prepared for a typhoon,” Evans said.
Andersen’s base exchange and commissary remained open for extended hours Sunday to give people more time to get ready, base spokeswoman Maj. Richelle Dowdell said.
As a precaution, B-52 Stratofortress bombers at Andersen, deployed from Barksdale Air Force Base, La., were evacuated ahead of the storm, as were KC-135 Stratotankers from MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., Dowdell said. Some ships anchored at the naval base were sent underway as well, Evans said.
The Navy issued a news release late Monday asking southern island residents to have extra water on hand in case the weather hampers naval water production. Guam Waterworks Authority advised residents to save enough water for up to three days, the Pacific Daily News reported.
At 6 p.m. Monday, Kong-rey was 288 miles east of Guam, churning north-northwest at 17 mph with sustained 75 mph winds and 92 mph gusts at its center.
If it continued on its JTWC track, Kong-rey was forecast to graze Andersen 162 miles to its north at 2 a.m. Tuesday. Kong-rey was forecast to be packing sustained winds of 86 mph and gusts of up to 104 mph as it skipped 53 miles north-northeast of Saipan at 5 a.m. Tuesday.
Kong-rey is forecast to remain a typhoon until sometime Friday, curving north and northeast before dissipating over water to the east of Iwo Jima, Japan, and northeast of Asuncion in the northern Marianas.
Conditions of Readiness on GuamEach level is based on how soon destructive winds — defined as sustained 57.6 mph or greater — are possible or expected to reach Guam:
4: Destructive winds are possible within 72 hours. On Guam, COR 4 is set year-round unless a higher condition is set.
3: Destructive winds are possible within 48 hours.
2: Destructive winds are anticipated within 24 hours.
1: Destructive winds are anticipated within 12 hours or already are occurring. Only emergency vehicles are allowed on the road during COR 1.
Conditions of Readiness preparationsCOR 4: Keep areas around the house clear of debris and loose material. Prune dead branches. Keep storm shutters in good condition and keep them readily available. Determine location of official shelters. Stock and maintain your typhoon supply locker.
COR 3: Fill car with gas. Ensure loose debris is picked up around your house. Knock down coconuts, cut branches around power lines and secure outside potted plants. Check supplies of prescription medicines. Expectant mothers beyond their 36th week of pregnancy should make arrangements with U.S. Naval Hospital Guam. Gather containers for drinking water storage. Clean bathtub so it can be used as a water storage container. Secure small boats. Tune to local radio, TV stations, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather radio or call the weather telephone recording for the latest warnings and advisories. Prepare to put up typhoon shutters.
COR 2: Install typhoon shutters or tape edges of windows. Fill containers and your bathtub with water and keep them covered. Turn your refrigerator and freezer to their coldest setting and pack your freezer tightly with newspaper (this will keep your food colder longer). Secure cars: Set parking brake, lower antenna, close all windows and doors tightly. Move carpets and furniture away from windows. Stay off roads if possible. Evacuate to an official shelter if your home is not storm proof. Stay tuned to local radio, TV stations, NOAA weather radio or weather telephone recording for updates.
COR 1: Place towels/rags around leaky doors and windows. Conserve water. Stay indoors and away from windows. Move valuables to upper floors if flooding is a problem. Stay tuned to local radio, TV stations, NOAA weather radio or the telephone recording for the latest storm updates.
Return to all clear - COR 4: Do not touch dangling or downed power lines. Report broken water or sewer lines. Report broken or downed telephone lines to Guam Telephone Authority. Do not consume any food that has spoiled. Use stored water or sterilized tap water. Consider all water contaminated unless it is declared safe.
For the latest infoPhone: For storm updates and information on military installation stores and facility hours of operation, call the Commander, Naval Forces Marianas Information Line at DSN 339-INFO, or commercial (671) 339-INFO. On Guam, dial 211 for NOAA updates.
Internet: The National Weather Service Office provides up-to-date forecasts for Guam at: http://www.prh.noaa.gov/guam/
NOAA All Hazards Weather Radio Coverage for Mariana Islands
NWR TRANSMITTER CALL FREQ (MHZ)
Guam (Nimitz Hill) WXM-85 162.400
Saipan (Mount Tapochau) WXM-86 162.550
Source: U.S. Naval Forces Marianas