Public warned of dangerous surf conditions, flooding


The public is being alerted to hazardous surf that is projected to remain dangerous through Friday.

Based on the information received from the National Weather Service in Tiyan, Guam, and compiled at the CNMI Emergency Operations Center State Warning Point, a southwest monsoon swell is building across the Marianas as a monsoon trough near Guam continues to lift northward, bringing surf to hazardous levels near noon along south and west facing reefs.

A high surf advisory remains in effect until 6pm Friday and there is high risk of rip currents through Friday afternoon. A small craft advisory also remains in effect until 6pm Friday.

The NWS has also issued a flood advisory for Tinian and Saipan. Doppler radar and satellite imagery indicated heavy rain of 2 to 3 inches is possible over both islands. This rain could produce minor flooding, especially in areas of poor drainage.

A flood advisory means river or stream flows are elevated, or ponding of water in urban or other areas is occurring or is imminent.

The public is being advised to turn around when encountering flooded roads. Most flood deaths occur in vehicles.

Surf will build to hazardous levels of 8 to 10 feet along south-facing reefs and 7 to 9 feet along west-facing reefs and will continue through Friday. Similarly, dangerous rip currents are expected along south- and west-facing reefs through Friday.

The large surf will produce localized beach erosion and dangerous conditions for swimmers and beach goers.

Winds will increase to between 20 and 25 knots and persist through Thursday. Combined seas will build to between 8 and 10 feet and could build another 1 to 2 feet today, Thursday, before subsiding Friday.

The public is being advised to avoid venturing out along south- and west-facing reefs and beaches. Large breaking waves can knock you down and cause serious injuries. Strong rip currents will be life threatening.

There is a high risk of rip currents. If you become caught in a rip current, swim parallel to shore and back toward the beach when possible. Do not attempt to swim directly against the current as you will tire quickly. Heed the advice of lifeguards.

Inexperienced mariners, especially those operating smaller vessels, are advised to avoid sailing in these conditions. (PR)

Press Release
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