Power and water outages hit Saipan


Large swaths of Saipan had no electricity and experienced water supply outages for several hours yesterday after the Commonwealth Utilities Corp. Power Plant 1 in Lower Base experienced electrical problems.

It wasn’t islandwide, according to CUC executive director Gary P. Camacho, but still affected large areas on Saipan.

The outage began at about 11:50am in some areas under three circuits and then at 2pm in other areas under three other circuits. As of 4:25pm, Camacho said CUC personnel were almost done with reassembling work.

“They’ve done a great job and safety is paramount,” Camacho said.

He expected all areas to get their power and water supply back at 5pm yesterday.

As of 2pm CUC announced that their electricians were assessing the electrical panels and switch gears in the control room at Power Plant 1 to determine the problem so they could make the necessary emergency repairs. Camacho said six different circuits have been de-energized so that power plant personnel can safely work on the equipment.

“It is anticipated that the work will take approximately three to four hours to complete so power to the affected areas will remain offline through 5pm Thursday,” said Camacho in a CUC press release.

Because the problem involves the electrical equipment in the Power Plant control room, multiple circuits encompassing a large part of the island’s electrical grid were affected, he said.

CUC said restoration of water services to the affected areas will resume after power is restored.

Customers in the affected areas experienced low pressure to no water for two to three hours as the water system pressure stabilizes.

Areas affected for power were Garapan, Lower Base, Puerto Rico, Chalan Laulau, San Jose, Chalan Kiya, As Terlaje, Kannat Tabla, Airport Road, San Vicente, Papago, Upper and Lower Dandan, Obyan, As Perdido, As Lito, Koblerville, Afetnas, San Antonio, Susupe, China Town, As Gonno, Chalan Kanoa, Chalan Piao, Oleai, Gualo Rai, and As Falape.

Areas affected for water were Gualo Rai (portion of Middle Road from Gualo Rai Road to Taro Sue), As Falape area, Lower Dandan, portions of Kannat Tabla, As Lito, Fina Sisu, As Perdido, and Koblerville.

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 ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com
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