The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Incident Management Assistance Team was deployed to Saipan days prior to Typhoon Soudelor making landfall.
After Typhoon Soudelor impacted Saipan, President Obama issued a major disaster declaration on Aug. 5, 2015, for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, making federal assistance available to aid individuals and communities in the recovery efforts for damage that occurred Aug. 1-3, 2015 and appointed a Federal Coordinating Officer to lead the Federal team.
FEMA immediately started to mobilize its federal partners in support of recovery efforts.
Mobile Emergency Response Support personnel and equipment supported the Commonwealth with secure and non-secure voice, video and information services to support emergency response communications needs.
Representatives from the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Preparedness, Department of Health and Human Services assessed public health needs and were prepared to support if necessary.
The U.S. Coast Guard was on the ground in the Commonwealth to perform port condition assessments. The Ports in the CNMI are now open to commercial vessel traffic and cargo operations.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was tasked with the assessment of water systems (potable, non-potable and wastewater) for protection of public health, preparation of a debris monitoring plan, and addressing non-industrial hazardous waste issues. At the request of FEMA and the CNMI, EPA has collected over 350 damaged transformers for eventual recycling. EPA has set up a household hazardous waste drop off station and will be hosting weekend residential drop offs for household hazardous waste and white goods in upcoming weeks.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was mission assigned to deploy the following ESF#3 cells: the Temporary Power Planning and Response Team and Advanced Contracting Initiative, the 249th Prime Power Alpha Company, the 249th Delta Company and USACE debris subject matter experts to conduct rapid assessments of critical infrastructure for temporary power requirements and assist FEMA with debris management technical support.
In just one month 7,934 homeowners and renters have been registered for assistance and over $12 million approved in individual aid from FEMA since Typhoon Soudelor impacted the small island of Saipan.
The Disaster Recovery Center at the Pedro P. Tenorio Multi-Purpose Center in Susupe has received over 3,500 visitors seeking assistance with their FEMA and Small Business Administration applications.
FEMA continues to provide resources through air and sea transportation including, commodities and power restoration needs such as generators and power poles. To date: 99,359 liters of water, 71,136 meals, 396 cots, and 1,734 tarps of FEMA commodities have been distributed to the CNMI government and survivors.
Commonwealth Utilities Corp. power restoration crews, USACE 249th Prime Power Battalion Delta Company Team, CNMI and Guam Power Authority are working diligently to restore power everywhere throughout the island.
The Saipan International Airport and the seaport have both resumed 24/7 operations.
A total of 65 wells are currently operable with 5.3 million gallons of potable water being pumped into the system daily bringing the distribution system to 51 percent capacity. Intermittent water distribution is now available to 80 percent of the population.
Over 12,273 cubic yards of debris has been cleared from public right-of-ways.
Nine of the 14 private sector drinking water/bottling companies are producing over 75,000 gallons of drinking water per day, and that number continues to increase as additional private sector companies get back on line.
USACE has installed 68 generators and is continuing additional assessments, installations, and de-installations as power is restored. USACE has power experts from the 249th Prime Power Battalion and Delta Team supporting critical infrastructure power requirements.
FEMA and CNMI are working closely together, forming a unified effort in support of the citizens of Saipan.
SBA offers low-interest disaster loans to businesses of all sizes, most private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters. To date the SBA has approved 24 loans totaling over $1.6 million.
“Without the full cooperation of all our federal, Commonwealth, private sector partners and the volunteer agencies, we would never accomplish as much as we have in this short period of time.” Federal Coordinating Officer Stephen M. DeBlasio Sr. stated. “We will continue to work together as a team helping the residents of Saipan recover from the effects of Typhoon Soudelor.” (FEMA)