Rep. Ivan A. Blanco (R-Saipan), who represents Garapan under Precinct III, wishes that the Department of Public Works and the Office of Planning and Development would prioritize working on a solution to the Garapan floods.
He also sees a need to prioritize solutions for flooding in other areas such as the Mt. Tapochau, Industrial Road, Chalan Galaide, and San Jose.
“The location is either at the same level as the water at high tide level—possibly lower—so when the drainage gets blocked up, we get flooding,” Blanco said.
The lawmaker recognized the ongoing efforts of the OPD and DPW. “I appreciate that OPD and DPW are on top of this. Next year, we expect some flooding…so I hope that they can resolve this once and for all,” he said.
OPD deputy director Chris Concepcion told Saipan Tribune over the weekend that they have already started the process by seeking out funding with DPW.
He noted that OPD and DPW are also working with the Northern Marianas Housing Corp., the Capital Improvement Project office, and the Marianas Visitors Authority, among other government agencies.
“DPW has informed [me] that those roads qualify as federal highway, to be funded by federal funds. Now it’s just a matter of sitting down with landowners for the easement of those roads,” Blanco told Saipan Tribune, referring to some of the flooding that occurs outside of Garapan. However, he noted that DPW and OPD should first have the capital to improve the area before starting.
“These are projects I would like to be completed as soon as possibly can,” he noted.