CUC: 1,141 poles damaged on Saipan; 797 on Tinian

Super Typhoon Yutu damaged or downed 1,141 power poles, 676 transformers, and 671,220 linear feet of conductors on Saipan, according to the Commonwealth Utilities Corp.’s latest count.

CUC also disclosed that five out of nine feeders on Saipan are now online.

On Tinian, CUC counted 797 downed or damaged power poles, 105 transformers, and 507,015 linear feet of conductors. All feeders remain offline but station power is on at the CUC Tinian Power Plant from 6am to 6pm.

Tinian expects the arrival of 200 poles and heavy equipment in the coming days.

On Saipan, CUC executive director Gary P. Camacho said their inspectors and meter readers have retrieved 1,702 meters from damaged locations, households, and facilities.

Camacho said their crew continues to pull meters in Chalan Kiya, Kannat Tabla, Afetnas, San Antonio, Lower Dandan, and Upper Dandan.

He said a total of 145 transformers have been collected on Saipan, while collection of Tinian commenced last Friday.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has been assisting power personnel collect and record damaged transformers and will coordinate shipping of the damaged transformers for disposal.

At this time, Camacho said, 83 pole mounted transformers and various hardware materials arrived from Guam Power Authority.

He said a total of 33 GPA personnel have been assisting in restoration efforts.

Camacho said last Nov. 3, CUC accepted the offer of linemen assistance by Kosrae, Pohnpei, and Chuuk utilities, and that CUC is coordinating with Palau for additional linemen as well.

He said Federal Emergency Management Agency generators and the CUC power grid system continue to supply energy to the water wells, CUC Water Division will energize the water distribution system throughout Saipan in order to scout for leaks and test the different tank service area sections for the water scheduled hours.

Camacho said Navy Hill and Capital Hill water stations are closed until further notice, while As Matuis is closed due to low water levels.

On Tinian, the Marpi Valley Water Station remains open for the public to get water from 2pm to 5pm.

The Maui II Pump Station remains operational and is 98 percent online in San Jose Village and partial areas in Marpo Valley, and partial areas in Marpo Heights I and II.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a veteran journalist who has covered all news beats in the CNMI. Born in Lilo-an, Cebu City in the Philippines, De la Torre graduated from the University of Santo Tomas with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He is a recipient of many commendations and awards, including the CNMI Judiciary’s prestigious Justice Award for his over 10 years of reporting on the judiciary’s proceedings and decisions. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@saipantribune.com

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