ELECTRICITY RESTORED IN PARTS OF GUAM

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HAGATNA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, Dec. 24) - As lights flickered back on in parts of villages across the island, others areas -- including nearby neighborhoods -- remained in the dark.

"All over the island you are seeing power go on," Guam Power Authority general manager T. Ann Aguon Perez said. As of yesterday, parts of Umatac, Agat, Santa Rita, Tamuning, Dededo, Yigo, Barrigada Heights, Sinajana and HagÂtÒa were back on island power, Perez said.

San Antonio Road in Tamuning, the Department of Administration, HagÂtÒa Police Precinct, HagÂtÒa Treatment Plant, and ComNavMar also were expected to have their power restored last night.

Perez said crews also are working on restoring power to Hyundai, Santa Rita but have run into a transformer problem.

"Hopefully some of that will be mitigated," Perez said. "We are crossing our fingers that we can take it all the way through Merizo, and then we'll take it to Inarajan."

Perez said yesterday that just because your neighbor has power does not necessarily mean that you should have power also.

"We don't go by a road mapping. We go by a feeder system which provides power to homes," Perez said. "Your next-door neighbor may have power but you don't because they are on a different feeder."

She said, for example, the power agency provided power to the Guam Telephone Authority's HagÂtÒa office and the Pacific News Building, but could not provide power to the Superior Court of Guam -- which is located across the street from those buildings.

"They are on a different feeder," Perez said.

She said power also could not be restored to several areas for a variety of reasons.

"Some of them don't have power because we are running into a transformer defect, some of them need to be fixed or some of them need to be replaced," Perez said. "Or there is still hairline cracks or nicks in the line that our lineman haven't caught."

Perez asked that residents be patient because crews will return to restore power.

Meanwhile, three additional water wells were back on line yesterday.

As of yesterday, 47 out of 110 water wells were inoperable, according to Guam Waterworks Authority response activity coordinator Jude Calvo. Areas affected by downed wells include parts of Barrigada, Dededo, Mangilao, Sinajana and Tamuning.

Eleven 3,000-gallon bladders and 11 water tankers have been deployed to various locations throughout the island. Three water tankers are being used to provide water to Guam Memorial Hospital.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency announced yesterday they will open three disaster recovery centers on Thursday. Help is now available to eligible residents and business owners who suffered damage or losses caused by Supertyphoon Pongsona.

FEMA, Small Business Administration and government of Guam agency staff members are slated to be at the University of Guam field house, Yigo gymnasium and the Inarajan Senior Citizens Center.

The centers are designed to provide a one-stop location where people can get information about disaster recovery assistance. In addition to FEMA and SBA assistance, the centers also are providing food stamp and disaster unemployment assistance.

FEMA coordinating officer David Fukutomi said people do not have to rush to register because they have 60 days to apply.

Last week, FEMA Director Joe Allbaugh announced federal assistance for Individual Assistance Programs was added to the disaster declaration issued by the President. Residents and business owners are eligible to apply for grants to help pay for temporary housing, home repairs and other serious disaster-related expenses, files state.

Low-interest loans from the Small Business Administration also will be available to homeowners, renters and businesses of all sizes to cover residential and business losses not compensated by insurance.

As of Dec. 22, about $4.7 million in emergency food stamps had been issued here, according to a Department of Public Health and Social Services official. The department has received 10,139 applications at its three sites. The sites will be closed tomorrow -- Christmas Day -- but will reopen Thursday.

December 24, 2002

Pacific Daily News, www.guampdn.com/ 

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