Rota begins recovery, prepares for individual damage assessment
The all-clear was given by CNMI Gov. Arnold Palacios Thursday night. The Rota mayor activated the ground response immediately after to clear roads and get help to those in need.
Mayor of Rota Aubry Hocog told KUAM Friday," We have our government facilities already inspected and now we are going to move into the residential areas. We are activating personnel to have them undergo training today to fill out forms as part of the individual assistance program under FEMA."
Those house-to-house surveys are expected to begin on Sunday to help residents document damages after Typhoon Mawar. Power was restored to the Rota Health Center and nearby residences, but about 800 residents and facilities are still in the dark. Water is restored to the island but under a boil water advisory.
HOcog said, "CUC is working hard to send out their samples today to ensure there is no bacteria that is going to be harmful to our people if they consume the water."
CUC says they are monitoring at least four water leaks impacting Rota’s water pressure and supply.
CUC acting exec. director Betty Terlaje said, "We are sending two bucket trucks and 8 line crew to Rota. We are also sending an engineer, surveyor, and another technician, too, to help out with the assessment so we can understand what we need and plan on how quickly we can move. We are also sending five water crew, including an engineer, and some leak detections to help with the leaks and a couple of guys to help with the repairs."
They expect to send support to Guam after Rota is back on the grid.
A U.S. Coast Guard C-130 at the Saipan International Airport arrived overnight from Hawaii, expected to deliver much-needed supplies and relief to the islands of Rota and Guam.
"We are anticipating to get water bottles, food like MREs, generators, and diesel assistance to help operate. We still have people in the shelter right now because they have been displaced," Hocog said.
The mayor says the C-130 is expected to arrive on Saturday. As of 8 a.m. Friday, 13 people were still in the Rota shelter seeking help after their homes were damaged by Mawar. But the mayor says their calls for help are being heard as they pick up the pieces.
"We are just overwhelmed with support and love and truly we are just very thankful and blessed for the support for our neighboring islands and I ask everyone to join us as we express our support to our neighboring island of Guam as they underwent greater damages. And we want to express our love and support to our brothers and sisters in Guam as well," Hocog said.