Flash floods across Saipan

Mudwater floods Saipan’s Middle Road as a result of yesterday’s continuous rain. (Kimberly A. Bautista)

Saipan saw a lot of soil erosion incidents yesterday following flash flooding that was caused by a sudden midday downpour. The flooding was so severe that it prompted the CNMI Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency to issue a flood advisory at 1:30pm.

The sudden rainstorm lasted from around 12pm to 5pm.

According to HSEM public information officer Nadine Deleon Guerrero, the rain was a result of a stationary rain cloud that was hovering above the Commonwealth longer than usual.

Due to the duration of the cloud’s stay and the massive amount of continuous rain it brought with it, Saipan experienced flash flooding in several spots and in low-lying areas like Garapan, Gualo Rai, and even at the intersection going up to Dandan.

Saipan Tribune observed that the flash flooding eroded massive amounts of soil along Beach Road and the mudwaters overflowed from the streets into the beaches.

Also on Middle Road and Chalan Monsignor Guerrero Road, heavy erosion was seen and mudwaters flooded the busy streets.

According to Mae Ann Grace Velena, who was seeking shelter at the Shell gas station along Middle Road, she was taken aback by the massive amount of erosion the flooding brought and was concerned whether the Department of Public Works was doing something about the hazardous mud water.

Saipan Tribune tried to contact DPW and the Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality about the massive cases of erosion, but there was no response from both offices as of 4pm yesterday.

The National Weather Service in Tiyan, Guam, issued an urban and small stream flood advisory for Saipan and Tinian yesterday.

According to the advisory, satellite imagery indicated heavy rain due to slow moving showers and thunderstorms and will cause urban and small stream flooding in the advisory area. Rainfall of 1 to 3 inches was seen in the area resulting in flooding of streams, roadways, and poor drainage areas.

 The sun managed to peek out later in the day.

Kimberly Bautista Bautista
Kimberly Bautista is the youngest in the stable of Saipan Tribune reporters. She has covered a wide range of beats, including the community, housing, crime, and education, for the Saipan Tribune.

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