The CNMI Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management is warning the public of possible flash floods on Saipan, Tinian, and Rota.
In an advisory, HSEM, in coordination with the National Weather Service, issued a flash flood warning in effect for all islands until 9:45pm last night.
Heavy showers and isolated thunderstorms were producing heavy rain across the Marianas. Three to 5 inches of rain have already fallen, and an additional 2 to 3 inches are expected over the Marianas throughout the rest of the day.
At 3:52pm, doppler radar and satellite indicated heavy rain that will continue to cause urban and small stream flooding. Overflowing poor drainage areas will result in flooding in the advisory area.
Additional rainfall of 2 to 4 inches is expected. This additional rain will continue to produce flooding. Minor property damage is possible.
The community is asked to take precautionary measures:
-Residents living along low coastal areas should take immediate precautions to protect life and property. Move to higher ground.
-If there is an emergency, contact 911.
-Please stay off the roads as much as possible,
-Water levels can rise rapidly and sweep people away.
-Avoid walking or driving through flood waters. Just six inches of moving water can knock you down, and 2 feet of water can sweep your vehicle away.
-If floodwaters rise around your car but the water is not moving, abandon the car and move to higher ground. If the water is moving, do not leave the car.
-Turn around, don’t drown when encountering flooded roads. Most flood deaths occur in vehicles.
-Flooding is occurring or is imminent. It is important to know where you are relative to streams, rivers, or creeks, which can become killers in heavy rains. Hikers should avoid streams or creeks. Report any flooding to your local law enforcement or emergency manager.
Gov. Ralph DLG Torres advises the community to exercise caution during this flash flood advisory.
“I ask the community to please stay safe during this flash flood advisory and to monitor updates from our local media partners and our government social media pages. We are opening up shelters just for our most vulnerable residents, particularly the ones in tents,” he said.
“I thank [the Department of Public Works] for helping clear the drainage systems now, [the Public School System] and [the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs] for activating the shelters, [the Commonwealth Office of Transit Authority] for transportation, and HSEM for monitoring the storm. All of our government agencies and departments will be on standby should conditions worsen. We will continue to work together to keep all our residents safe and secure.”
The Office of the Governor 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. (PR)