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US Coast Guard prepares for Bolaven: 'We're on top of storm preparations'

The USCGC Hickory (WLB 212) crew chain buoys, used as aids to navigation, together during storm preparation at U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia/Sector Guam ahead of Tropical Storm Bolaven on Oct. 9, 2023. Photo courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard/Chief Warrant Officer Sara Muir

The U.S. Coast Guard, federal, territorial and port partners continue Monday to prepare for Tropical Storm Bolaven, which is expected to arrive Tuesday. "As we brace for Tropical Storm Bolaven's arrival, the unity and preparedness of our team, alongside our dedicated partners, reflect our unwavering commitment to the safety of Guam and the CNMI communities," said Capt. Nick Simmons, commander, U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia/Sector Guam.

"Just as we did during Typhoon Mawar, we're on top of storm preparations, securing our assets and working tirelessly to safeguard our ports. Our mission is to ensure the well-being of all residents, and we stand ready to conduct post-storm assessments and support port recovery efforts. Stay informed through official channels and remember that safety remains our top priority." Tropical Storm Bolaven strengthened after passing through the Federated States of Micronesia and is forecast to intensify through Tuesday afternoon, possibly becoming a typhoon. As with Typhoon Mawar, which struck as a Category 4 storm in May, U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia/Sector Guam is on top of unit storm preparations. The three 154-foot Island Class Fast Response Cutters and their crews sortied Sunday and are safely out to sea on storm avoidance. U.S. Coast Guard Station Apra Harbor's 29-foot response boats are hauled out and trailered, and the 45-foot response boats are coming out to the water onto the travel lift and heavy weather tide downs, respectively, Monday afternoon.

The USCGC Hickory (WLB 212) crew securely fastened all buoys in the buoy yard to concrete sinkers and pre-staged additional aids to navigation gear for post-storm use. All ports are ready; commercial traffic departing by Monday evening, those vessels remaining are lashed down, and teams prepared container yards for high winds. Crews are staffing all necessary watch sections and actively working with on-island partners to be ready to conduct post-storm assessments and port reconstitution efforts once it is safe.


The latest updates from the Joint Information Center posted to the Guam Homeland Security / Office of Civil Defense will continue.

Guam is currently in Condition of Readiness 2, expecting tropical storm-force winds within 24 hours, and the JIC is providing updated school and shelter information and various closure announcements. For more, ongoing updates are available from the National Weather Service Guam and installation Facebook pages. In the CNMI, the CNMI EOC State Warning Point continues to issue information for the northern islands. The National Weather Service issued a tropical storm warning, a typhoon watch, and a flood watch. The public can expect breaking waves in the surf zone, a high risk of rip currents as the storm approaches, dangerous swimming and surfing conditions, and localized beach erosion. Remain out of the water.


Early communication with port partners and the proactive attitude of the team at the commercial ports in Guam and the CNMI ensured the timely implementation of heavy weather plans and preparations despite the holiday weekend. Port Heavy Weather Condition YANKEE is in effect at 10 a.m., suspending all commercial traffic. Port Heavy Weather Condition ZULU will be set by the U.S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port for the collective Marianas when winds above 39 mph are predicted within 12 hours, suspending all maritime traffic and any cargo or bunkering operations. This is anticipated to take place Monday night. Search and rescue assets and crews are standing by, but as the storm approaches, responders may not be able to get on the scene until the storm passes. Social media is not a recommended method to call for assistance as it is monitored intermittently. The use of 911 or VHF FM Channel 16 is the recommended ways to report distress.

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