Feds rush to Rota to deliver aide to storm-ravaged residents - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Feds rush to Rota to deliver aide to storm-ravaged residents

Posted: Sep 11, 2018 8:20 PM +10:00 Updated:

While all of the Marianas was on high alert, in the end it was Rota that took a direct hit. Residents there are in recovery mode, but federal help is on the way.

As daylight broke, CNMI leaders were able to get a firsthand look at Mangkhut's mangled mess on the hardest hit island of Rota. "There's quite a bit of damage," began Rota mayor Efraim Atalig.  With winds clocked anywhere between 100-120 miles per hour, tin roofs went up and power poles went down. Atalig added, "We're obviously out of power we're running on a generator as we speak in my office and we also are without water however the water now is partially on."

CNMI Lieutenant Governor Victor Hocog says communication is already underway with the Commonwealth Utilities Corporation, telling KUAM News, "I talked to director of CUC I asked him that if Saipan is at ease with its line crew and water crew that Rota needs more attention and help from Saipan personnel to assist get our basic and important infrastructure up for our people."

At least eight families in Rota will remain in shelters for about a week, while repairs to a few government buildings will have to be made, there were also no casualties. "Thank God no injuries or death - thank the Lord for that. God is good," he shared.

Officials from FEMA, the National Weather Service and CNMI Governor Ralph Torres began arriving today. Key to the recovery effort is for residents to document their damage, with Atalig saying, "So that we can have a better presentation to the federal people when they come here on the island for further assessment."

Relief is already on the way as less than 24 hours after CNMI Governor Torres requested for a federal declaration of an emergency, President Trump approved the request. This paves the way for FEMA to provide immediate and financial assistance to help the recovery.

All government operations in the CNMI, along with CNMI public schools are scheduled to resume on Wednesday with the exception of all schools in Rota and the Rota Headstart Center. Additionally, Northern Marianas College offices on Saipan and Tinian will reopen and classes will resume tomorrow.

An announcement for NMC's Rota campus will be made later.

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