Hundreds still homeless after Typhoon Dolphin - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Hundreds still homeless after Typhoon Dolphin

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It's become apparent that the worst fallout from last week's Typhoon Dolphin was not in downed trees or downed power lines - but in downed homes. Hundreds left homeless still continue to feel the wrath of storm.

Lori Quichocho is a mother, grandmother, and head of a household. "I have a family of 12- 6 adults, 6 children, children ages 1, 2 year-olds, 2 four-year-olds and a 14- and a 16-year-old," she explained. She and her family of 12 stayed in the shelter for 5 days, but returned to find a home that was completely destroyed. "Everything was destroyed - appliances, my son's school books, got destroyed, his school uniforms," she added.

She said she spoke with Department of Education superintendent Jon Fernandez at the Tamuning Shelter and he assured her that her children would not be penalized for returning to school without uniforms. However, that was just one obstacle she had to face. As shelters began to close, she and her family were forced to move out, with nothing but a canopy. Quichocho said, "This is what they expect us to do is to live under a canopy, and so I inquired with Mr. Martin Benavente as far as tents for children at least and they said they're not giving out tents, just canopies."

She is worried about her children living in an environment without floors, windows or doors. "So I asked Mr. Benavente, 'So what am I supposed to do with a canopy as far as making my babies sleep'? You know, he said to take the broken tin and align it alongside the canopy, but to me that's really unsafe, you know, for the children, for my kids and my grandkids, and the safety of my kids is my main priority."

She added, "I'm not able to sleep at night because I'm afraid my kids might run into the structure which has nails and broken tins, get cut, get bit from all kinds of animals coming out from the snakes or ants or you know stuff like that. So my husband and I, we actually take shifts in sleeping. I tell him, 'You're gonna sleep during the day, and I'll sleep during the night.'"

Quichocho said she wants the community to understand the struggles of families that have been left homeless, noting, "I would like the shelterees who have suffered enough already being in there for days, to get the help, I understand they want to close the shelter, but if they're gonna close the shelter at least take into consideration the people who have children."

Both the Guam Housing Corporation and Red Cross visited Quichocho's home to take pictures, she has yet to hear from FEMA and federal aid will not be available unless Guam is declared a state of emergency by President Barack Obama.

While Governor Eddie Calvo has requested Guam be designated a disaster area, it has yet to be approved. A disaster declaration is needed for more aid to be released to people like Quichocho, who desperately need it.

If you're still without power you can call GPA's Trouble Dispatch at 475-1472/3/4. According to the agency, electricity has been restored to 99% of the island. Crews however will continue to work through the weekend addressing individual areas and homes affected. They will also continue to work addressing island-wide issues, cleaning up the system and improving overall power quality.

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