Maria upgraded to Tropical Storm Condition 1
Tropical Storm Maria upgraded to Tropical Storm Condition 1 for the islands of Rota, Tinian, and Saipan as of 11am today.
At 10am, the center of Tropical Storm Maria was located near Latitude 14.1 N and Longitude 144.1 East; 75 miles west-southwest of Rota, 120 miles southwest of Tinian, 130 miles southwest of Saipan.
Tropical Storm Maria is moving toward the North-northwest at 10mph. It is expected to maintain this general direction with a decrease in forward speed over the next 24 hours.
With maximum sustained winds at 70mph, Tropical Storm Maria is forecast to intensify over the next few days, possibly becoming a typhoon tonight or early Friday.
A flash flood watch is in effect for Rota, Tinian, and Saipan through Friday morning. Heavy rainfall is expected as Tropical Storm Maria passes through the Marianas. Due to its slow motion, there is potential for excessive rainfall and flash flooding, especially across Rota. Rainfall of 4 to 6 inches is possible with locally higher amounts, especially for Rota. Three inches of rain have already been recorded for the island of Rota.
Those living in areas prone to flooding should be prepared to take action should flooding develop. Clear any debris around drainage areas.
Notices of closure
Executive and Legislative branches are closed for operation today as of 8am this morning. The Judiciary Superior Court and Supreme Court to include Clerk of Courts probation and related offices under the Judiciary are expected to close after lunch today. All government and autonomous agencies will remain closed. Summer school classes have been cancelled. Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. clinics remain open, but the Community Guidance Center in Navy Hill is closed.
Aging Center (Rota), Dandan Middle School (Saipan), Tinian Elementary School (Tinian) are open for sheltering for residents.
The airport remains open today. However, STAR Marianas Air. Inc. has cancelled all flights. Artic Circle is still scheduled for flight at 12:45pm.
Office of Homeland Security Emergency Management, through the CNMI Emergency Operations Center State Warning Point, will maintain 24-hour operation, monitor the movement of Tropical Storm Maria and will be issuing bulletins as they become available.
HSEM urges the community to exercise the following precautionary measures:
– If heavy rain is encountered, slow down and use low beam headlights.
– Turn around. Don’t drown! Avoid walking, swimming or driving through flood waters.
– Locate your emergency preparedness kits for your household.
– Charge your cell phones in the case of loss of power.
– Drive safely while operating vehicles on public roads, and allow for ample time to reach destinations.
– Secure and store loose debris around your homes to avoid items from being airborne.
– Secure outdoor pets in a safe location either indoors or inside the garage.
Additionally, HSEM advises to keep a close watch on updates to weather forecasts and stay informed on the latest statements and advisories which will be available through local media sources and NOAA Weather radio broadcast on 162.5 megahertz, or call CNMI EOC State Warning Point at 237-8000 or 664-8000, and for the Northern Islands to contact CNMI EOC State warning point at high frequency single side band radio on frequency 5.205.0.
Receive the latest social media updates through the following:
– CNMI EOC State Warning Point Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cnmieocswp/
– CNMI Office of the Governor Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CNMIGov/
– Governor Ralph DLG. Torres Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ralphdlg.torres/
– CNMI Joint Information Center: https://www.facebook.com/JICNMI/
– NWS Website: http://www.prh.noaa.gov/guam/
– NWS Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NWSGuam/
HSEM also encourages residents to download HSEM’s readyCNMI App available for FREE in the Apple iStore or Google PlayStore to receive the latest weather updates and notifications.
For more information or media inquiries, contact Nadine C. Deleon Guerrero, HSEM Public Information Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org.