After sending a letter requesting an emergency declaration for the CNMI, Gov. Ralph DLG. Torres said today that President Donald J. Trump has expeditiously approved his request for an emergency declaration.
“I am pleased to announce that President Trump has approved my request for an emergency declaration for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands,” Torres said.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency is now authorized to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures, authorized under Title V of the Stafford Act, to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, or to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe on the three islands of Saipan, Tinian, and Rota.
Specifically, FEMA is authorized to provide emergency protective measures limited to direct federal assistance, under the Public Assistance Program at 75 percent federal funding.
This assistance is for the islands of Rota, Saipan, and Tinian.
Additional designations may be made at a later date after further evaluation.
“Thank you to the President, the White House, FEMA, and our federal partners for acting on this expeditiously. And special thanks to everyone at the Homeland Security and Emergency Management and our local first responders for doing the necessary work to push this immediately,” Torres added.
Meanwhile, Torres has cancelled all conditions as of 8am. However, the community is being advised that gusty winds will continue throughout the day and could reach up to 35 miles per hour at times. Winds will continue to subside as conditions are expected to improve today.
Although the weather is clearing, the community is being reminded to stay off the roads to allow for emergency personnel to assess damages and clear roads.
The National Weather Service Guam Weather Forecast Office has the following advisories in effect:
Small craft advisory: In effect for Rota, Tinian, Saipan and Guam coastal waters until 6am Wednesday.
Southeast winds of 19 to 29 mph with gusts to 39 mph are expected. Combined seas of 10 to 12 feet are expected today before subsiding to 8 to 10 feet tonight.
Inexperienced mariners, especially those operating smaller vessels, should avoid sailing in these conditions. Small craft should remain in port and well secured.
High surf advisory: Is in effect for Rota, Tinian, Saipan, and Guam until 6am Wednesday. Surf will be hazardous at 10 to 14 feet along west and south facing reefs of the Marianas through at least tonight. Surf will gradually diminish starting tonight but could remain above hazardous levels for a few more days.
There could be a high risk of rip currents along west and south facing reefs, with localized beach erosion and possibly a foot or two of inundation along the coast. Avoid exposed reefs and beaches of the Marianas, especially those facing south and west, until surf has subsided.
The Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management urges residents and visitors to stay out of the ocean until hazardous conditions subside. (PR)