All of the primary lines on each of Saipan’s eight feeders are projected to be online by the end of September and the majority of Saipan should be online by the end of October, according to the latest update from the Commonwealth Utilities Corp.
In a statement yesterday, it said that customers near the primary lines will be among the first to receive power while restoration will take longer for customers living farther from the primary lines and those with more damage.
Primary power generation has now migrated from Power Plant 4 in Puerto Rico to Power Plant 1 in Lower Base as the restoration of Saipan’s main production facility continues.
Power Plant 1 currently produces 10MW of electricity, with an additional 15MW ready to use. Restoration of the consoles and generators continues, which will lead to additional generation capability in the near future.
Power Plant 4, meanwhile, is currently able to produce 6.1MW of electricity but it is standing in reserve.
The islandwide recovery efforts are carried out by an international team dedicated to the restoration of Saipan’s generation, transmission and distribution capabilities. CUC Saipan linemen are supported by their peers from Rota, Tinian, Rhode Island, Palau, Yap, Pohnpei, Kosrae, and Guam.
CUC and its partners from the Guam Power Authority, Yap Utilities, Palau, Kosrae, and Pohnpei have erected power poles in Garapan, Puerto Rico, Chalan Kiya, Lower Base, Navy Hill, As Lito, San Vicente, Chalan Laulau, Kagman, Capital Hill, Oleai, Dandan, and the vicinity of the airport. We anticipate energizing the underground cable from Power Plant 1 to the Chalan Kiya Substation mid-week, which will lead to the reconnection of the Saipan International Airport and vast water production resources to island power.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has taken on the responsibility of recovering and disposing of damaged transformers. As of 2pm, Aug. 31, the CUC/EPA Transformer Team collected a total of 297 downed transformers.
CUC now provides limited water service to nearly every village on Saipan. As our ability to provide power to the island increases, our ability to energize wells will increase water production.
Until CUC is able to energize each of Saipan’s 150 wells, the Water Division is working to deliver islandwide water service, albeit in a limited capacity, using a network of generators from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
CUC was able to serve all of Gualo Rai, albeit briefly, as FEMA generators were installed at the previously unreachable GR4 and GR5 wells. The service from the wells was halted when what appeared to be cosmetic typhoon-related damage to the fiberglass tank was exacerbated by the introduction of water pressure.
CUC crews worked to apply a temporary repair to the site to restore water service to the upper elevations until such time a more permanent solution is implemented. Water is currently being served to most regions of Gualo Rai; however, a schedule will be provided as early as today.
As of yesterday afternoon, testing has begun in As Perdido. Thus far, CUC has been unsuccessful in its attempts to provide water to this village; however, testing will continue until a solution is found.
The Puerto Rico reservoir supplies water for the village of Garapan and thus far, filling the reservoir has posed a challenge. The Puerto Rico wells are online; however, they do not produce enough water to fill the tank alone.
We have brought water down from Capital Hill, but the pressure of the water is so great that we must exercise extreme caution to prevent the pressure from damaging our lines. Because of this, we are only able to transfer up to five feet of water to Puerto Rico from Capital Hill per day.
Once a more reliable method of filling the Puerto Rico tank becomes available, CUC will be able to provide the village of Garapan with a consistent supply of water.
Given the challenges to water production and distribution posed by Typhoon Soudelor, it is critical for the community to immediately notify CUC of any water leaks. To report water leaks, contact the CUC Customer Call Center at 664-4CUC (4282).
CUC Engineering and Operations personnel continue testing the villages of Upper Chalan Kiya, Garapan, and As Perdido. As engineers and operations personnel receive results, an established schedule for limited water service will be released.
Water filling stations
CUC continues to provide up to 100 gallons of water per household per day at filling stations across Saipan. Residential customers may fill their containers in As Teo, Kannat Tabla, and Navy Hill. As of Sept. 2, 2015, each site is open daily from 4pm-7pm.
The water made available at the filling stations is strictly for non-commercial residential use. No water buffaloes will be filled.
As water becomes more readily available throughout the villages, CUC will begin to eliminate our filling stations and deploy our staff to other areas of the water system.
Due to an increase of system-wide water productions and a lack of demand from our business community, CUC has closed the commercial filling station.
CUC has identified a location for the Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services to escort tanker trucks that will provide water for the emergency shelters. These services are available by appointment only and are for the sole purpose of supplying water to the shelters.
As a precaution, all water provided by CUC will need to be sanitized through the use of chlorine bleach or boiling before it can be used by the community.
For more information, visit our website www.cucgov.org or contact our 24-Hour Customer Call Center at 664-4CUC (664-4282). (CUC)