Flooding throughout Guam due to weekend storm
Tropical Storm Goni may be long gone, but the island wasn't completely spared as Guam did receive as much as 12 inches of rain over the weekend, causing major flooding throughout several parts of the island. Along East Gayinero Road in Yigo, it appeared less like a street but more of the remains of an underwater village.
"As you can see the water reached about maybe up the hill about 30 or 40 feet," explained Yigo mayor Rudy Matanane, referring to the wrath of Tropical Storm Goni, which made its way through the Mariana Islands throughout the weekend. Guam may not have been directly hit by the storm, but the island did experience heavy wind and rain resulting in flash flood warnings in the past two days. "This is Miss Sieczka's house. And the house inside is still I think about maybe a foot of water, so we just got to do something here and help the residents here," he said.
And while the area was still flooded, it failed in comparison to the images sent by viewers of their houses and cars submerged in water throughout the storm's closest approach. The flooding forced residents like Stephanie Sieczka and Peter Pareja, who KUAM spoke with today, to seek emergency shelter with family and friends outside of the village.
"All of them because I was talking to the neighbor here, the house was three feet underwater, and this is worst because is a little lower. This is probably five feet underwater," Mayor Matanane estimated.
According to the Joint Information Center, 173 residents sought shelter at emergency shelters throughout the weekend. The heavy rainfall also closed off portions of Guam's road including Dead Man's Curve in Asan, Snake Road down from Naval Hospital, Pago Bay, the Polaris Point intersection, and the Barcinas area in Merizo - all areas that are known to flood as well. And at least for this particular area, the mayor says he is working with the Department of Public Works to clean a nearby sinkhole to prevent major flooding to happen again.
"I think if we can clean the sinkhole so the water can seep through the sinkhole goes, and many of these sinkholes go all the way out to the ocean, so I think that's the most inexpensive solution was can work on," he said.
And while the families KUAM News spoke with refrained from going on-camera, they did indicate they hope for some assistance from local and federal government agencies. The mayor said, "I'm going to get information on everything I need to know and call the Red Cross and FEMA to see what kind of help they can help them with."
Meanwhile, Civil Defense administrator Charles Esteves tells KUAM News that his agency did assessments upon the announcement of Condition of Readiness 4 on Sunday and will continue working with the emergency support functions on the restoration of services.