WASHINGTON, D.C.—Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (Ind-MP) announced yesterday that the Commonwealth is receiving $4,518,008 more in federal funds as part of the Typhoon Soudelor recovery effort.
The money will be used to install 12 generators to provide emergency back-up power to 91 wells and keep water service available to all villages on Saipan after a storm.
“Congress provides these hazard mitigation grants to areas that have suffered through natural disasters in order to harden public infrastructure and make it more resilient in the event of future disasters,” Sablan said. “One of the worst effects of a storm like Soudelor is that people do not have water for cooking and cleaning and the basic needs of life. The funding now available will help ensure that the Commonwealth Utilities Corp. is more able to keep delivering water even after a terrible storm.”
According to details of the grant agreement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, two existing buildings will be strengthened to house some of the new generators and their electrical switchgear. The rest of the generators will be protected within seven entirely new concrete structures.
In addition, wind-resistant concrete poles with power transformers will go up to carry power from the emergency generators to the wells. And at six sites that provide power to especially high-producing wells the necessary electric lines will be moved underground to further ensure the reliability of the power supply.
“For the 14,406 households served by these wells,” said Sablan, “this infusion of federal funding could make a tremendous improvement, if we are struck by a Soudelor-sized storm again.”
FEMA distributes the hazard mitigation funds directly to the Commonwealth government, which is then responsible for allocating the money to CUC. (PR)