Posted by: Public Affairs
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has been closely monitoring Tropical Cyclone Wilma, which developed in the Pacific over the weekend and is intensifying as it forecasted to pass over American Samoa this evening. According to the National Weather Service, Wilma currently has sustained winds of up to 60 miles per hour and is forecasted to reach hurricane strength as it approaches the islands. A storm warning, flash flood watch and high surf warnings are all in effect for American Samoa, and a hurricane warning has been issued for the islands of Tutuila and Aunuu.
FEMA staff in our region IX office in Oakland, California and our Pacific Area Office in Honolulu, are in constant communication with the American Samoa Emergency Operations Center in Pago Pago. Although there has been no request for federal assistance yet, we have aircraft on standby and teams ready to deploy with help if needed.
We urge all individuals in the region to listen to NOAA Weather Radio and their local news to monitor for updates and directions provided by their local officials. For those of you on Twitter, you can follow #Samoa and #cyclonewilma for updates on the storm, and as always, you can follow both Administrator Fugate @craigatfema and @FEMA for the latest information.
As we continue to track the storm and support local officials as they prepare for landfall Wilma it is an important reminder that tropical storms aren’t limited to hurricane season. Tropical storms and other types of severe weather can occur year-round. FEMA encourages individuals to do your part to be prepared. If you haven’t already, visit http://www.ready.gov/ and learn how you can protect your homes, families and communities from severe storms and other hazards.