UPDATE: Tropical Storm Watch for American Samoa now in effect
Around 3p.m. today, Thursday, the National Weather Service in Tafuna issued a Tropical Storm Watch for American Samoa, as Tropical Disturbance 07F was upgraded to Tropical Storm 07F - which is “intensifying and slow moving” towards the Samoan islands.
By tomorrow morning, Friday, the storm will “come very close to American Samoa,” Weather Service meteorologist Carol Baqui told Samoa News this afternoon, adding that Fiji Met Service, has not yet named the storm, “but we issued the storm watch to get people prepared while it’s still daylight.”
If Fiji does name the storm, Baqui said the next weather bulletin update, will include it.
She called on residents, “not to panic, listen to local broadcasters for the latest update and always stay safe.”
The weather office has also issued a high surf advisory and flood flash watch effective this afternoon for all islands of American Samoa.
Samoa News will update this online story when new information comes in as well as in tomorrow’s edition.
With continued heavy rain impacting the territory due to a monsoonal trough, the Department of Education have again cancelled all public schools today (Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018). It's unclear at this point as to how many private schools are open today.
And because of school cancelations, all ASHSAA games are also cancelled for today, according a brief notice from ASHAA. It also says that all cancelled games will be rescheduled only if needed to determine play-off standing for Varsity and placement standing for JV.
As of 7a.m. today, the National Weather Service in Pago Pago says that satellite shows, showers moving across the territory with heavier rainfall over mountainous locations. Additionally, rapid flow of small streams and heavy ponding along the low-lying areas and main road will continue for the next couple of hours.
The Territorial Emergency Management Coordinating Office said in a weather notice that areas prone to flooding such as, Kokoland and Fagaima road, road behind the Ottoville Mormon Chapel, main road by Cost-U-Less, main road by American Samoa Community College (ASCC), Faga’alu, Fagatogo, and other known areas.
According to the Weather Office, the active monsoon trough will continue to oscillate across the islands today. Furthermore, Tropical Depression 7F, about 510 nautical miles west of Pago Pago, is slowly moving east northeast and intensifying. This weather system will move near Savaii island in Samoa, late tonight before crossing over Tutuila and Manua on Friday morning - tomorrow morning.
Called by village residents — our temporary “lake” — it’s seen in this photo yesterday morning — it’s the Malaeloa malae.
Residents say that during heavy rains, the malae becomes a lake, gathering water, which then overflows into nearby homes. And this was the case following heavy, non-stop rain, from Tuesday to early yesterday morning. Family members whose homes were close to the “lake” were awakened early in the morning from the flooding and spent the day cleaning up.
Bad weather yesterday morning also prompted closure of all public schools and several private schools.
Several areas of Tutuila were affected by the heavy rain, which — according to the National Weather Service in Tafuna — was due to an active monsoon trough over the islands and was to move north yesterday afternoon.
Before noon Wednesday, the rain stopped and brought relief to many motorists, some of them having to deal with high pools of water on the road throughout Tutuila during the morning drive to work, especially around 5a.m. to 7a.m.
Territorial Emergency Management Coordinating Office (TEMCO) reported overflow of streams from Nuuuli to Fagaalu and a couple of landslides in the western district.
The usual bad flooding in Fagaima and nearby Ottoville has been reported to Samoa News by both residents and motorists, many of them facing the daunting task of very slow driving due to not only heavy rains but also unseen potholes on the road, as they are now covered by water.
Residents coming out of Kokoland onto the Fagaima road around 6a.m. yesterday said police were re-directing traffic to the road that runs through the Kanana Fou complex, to pass through onto another secondary road that exits to the round-a-bout next to McDonald’s in Tafuna, onto the Nu’uuli/Airport road.
Traffic began to pass through the Fagaima road sometime after 8a.m. as the rain stopped, and water began to subside.
The Weather Office, as of 2p.m yesterday, continued to monitor a tropical disturbance (TD07F), which was west of Fiji and well over 800 miles southwest of Tutuila. Another disturbance remains well southeast of Fiji moving south-southwest slowly.
These emerging disturbances will remain well southwest of the territory and will have no impact on local weather conditions through Thursday, according to the weather office’s afternoon weather statement.
Depending on the development and location of both disturbances — perhaps one or both can track closer to the Samoan Islands over the next 48 to 72 hours, it says and urged the community to heed future forecasts and advisories as well as to monitor local radio and television outlets for the latest update.
Samoa News will update this story online, if warranted with new developments regarding TD07F.