The popular weekly Thursday Street Market is set to make a comeback almost four months after Super Typhoon Yutu destroyed several electrical components necessary for it to be held.
The street market at the Garapan Fishing Base may be making a comeback in as early as three weeks, according to CNMI Arts Council executive director Parker Yobei.
“Next week we would be installing the meter box,” he told Saipan Tribune. “When that meter box is ready and the weatherhead is installed, then we can call in the Commonwealth Utilities Corp. to schedule a reconnection to the island’s power grid.”
The street market, which is run by the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs’ CNMI Arts Council, had not been held since late October 2018, when Super Typhoon Yutu destroyed several electrical components needed to run the street market.
“We got to make sure our site is up and ready, but we are getting there,” Yobei said.
He noted that CUC had been prioritizing many local projects such as the replacement of wooden power poles with concrete poles.
According to Yobei, the two weatherheads that were ordered off-island, along with 12 panel boxes that had eight outlets each, were finally delivered and assembled. All that remains is for CUC to hook them back up to the power grid.
“We can’t wait to bring the [Thursday] Street Market back because this is a community event and it would be nice to see it go up again,” he said. “We are almost there and…the electricians are already done with the panels. …What is left is the installation.”
Although Yobei did not disclose a specific figure, he noted that the expense to get the Thursday Street Market back online “hurt their wallet.” In a previous interview, though, Yobei noted that the weatherheads alone cost $1,500 apiece.
The council lost two meter boxes, reportedly costing over $1,000 each and all 10 panel boxes with individual breakers, to name a few.
“The wind blew everything. I guess it was just too strong for the panels,” Yobei said, adding that everything was made sturdier by a certified electrician who has been contracted by his office.
“That’s why things took awhile. I believe all the electricians on island were busy with residential projects, so finally they had time to work on ours,” he said.