CUC restores power in some areas

But Power Plant 1 lost power due to surge

Commonwealth Utilities Corp. crews completed yesterday the installation of power poles and conductors (primary lines) in Feeder 7—in Lower Base, Sadog Tasi, and Marpi—but could not go online as Power Plant 1 in Lower Base lost power Tuesday night.

CUC also disclosed that, based on their partial assessment, there are 754 downed poles and eight damaged transformers on Tinian.

On Saipan, CUC inspectors continue to pull electric meters from damaged locations and for safety concerns from buildings and has removed 751 meters.

As of yesterday at noon, CUC crews were able to erect most of the wooden power poles on As Terlaje Hill along Chalan Monsignor Guerrero Road down to Mobil Gas Station in Chalan Kiya. About nine concrete power poles near the gas station are still aslant.

CUC executive director Gary P. Camacho said Feeder 7 areas—those in Lower Base, Sadog Tasi, and Marpi—are now ready to go online as soon as Power Plant 1 is energized.

He said Power Plant 1 is currently undergoing maintenance of switchgears and grounding after it lost power due to a surge from the loads of big establishments.

Out of nine feeders on Saipan, only Feeder 1 was online as of yesterday morning, Camacho said. Feeder 1 covers the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. area, Navy Hill, Garapan, Puerto Rico, and Chinatown.

Primary lines were energized Sunday afternoon, bringing power to the CHCC area and some adjoining laterals, including Navy Hill water wells.

Last Monday, CUC energized additional Feeder 1 areas on primary roads, providing power to Anak’s Homes, Upper Navy Hill, and Lower Navy Hill, and Lower MIHA. Those in lateral areas with downed power poles have no power.

Last Tuesday, CUC energized additional Feeder 1 areas that include Paganville, Sugar King Estates, Bank of Saipan to China Town (primary line). As a result, JG Sablan Ice and Water Co. was able to continue production of drinking water and ice for residents.

Camacho urged establishments along Feeder 1 partial to notify CUC immediately when switching due to power overload, which can affect operations at the hospital and Navy Hill water wells.

Feeder 4 Grid (first partial) areas or Sadog Tasi to Capital Hill by the old Emergency Management Office are also ready to go online as soon as Power Plant 1 is energized.

The entire areas under Feeder 4 are portions of Lower Base, Commonwealth Ports Authority’s seaport, and Beach Road Garapan south to San Jose intersection.

With respect to water issue, Camacho said, all tank service areas remain offline due to loss of power to pumps and damaged tank level gauges. Pipe damage assessment is still ongoing.

The As Matuis water station is closed due to low water levels.

With its closure, Camacho said, CUC’s water filling stations will increase volume for the public from 50 gallons to 100 gallons.

He said Koblerville is exempted as it will have 50 gallons daily.

Camacho said Donni Springs has unlimited untreated water and was activated as an emergency government fill station.

On Tinian, Camacho said, all feeders remain offline and station power is on at the CUC Tinian Power Plant.

Islandwide water services remain offline. CUC Operations Command Center continues to operate from 6am to 7pm.

Camacho said the Marpo Valley Water Station is still in operation for the public to get water from 1:30am to 5pm.

He said a 270KW generator for the Maui II pump station on Saipan was transported to Tinian and is scheduled to be energized yesterday to provide water to the community.

With the anticipation of additional crews and materials, Camacho said, humanitarian efforts through the Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Coast Guard, and American Red Cross are currently in place.

On Rota, all CUC systems are back to normal as of Saturday evening.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at

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