TROPICAL STORM CAUSES BLACKOUTS IN SAIPAN

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SAIPAN, CNMI (Saipan Tribune, July 10) – Strong winds and rain brought by Tropical Storm Man-Yi downed two primary high voltage lines and two flame trees, causing power outages in some areas in southern Saipan yesterday morning.

Commonwealth Utilities Corp. spokesperson Pamela Mathis told Saipan Tribune that two primary high voltage lines went down at about the same time at 10:55am in San Vicente.

Mathis said the first location was south of San Vicente School; the second was at the 10th Commandment area along Katten Drive.

"When these two lines went down, it caused the power outage on the grid Kiya 1," she said, referring to areas in Dandan, As Lito, and San Vicente.

Power was restored at 11:13am on the first part of Kiya 1 grid and at 11:41am on the second part of the grid.

Mathis said that at about 11:40am a big branch of a flame tree in front of the former KSAI in Susupe hit the power lines and snapped the 40-foot power pole.

Mathis said this cut off power to the Saipan Community Church and School.

"The important thing about it is that when it went down it did not cause a power outage in that grid. It did not take the grid because of those fuses that we've been installing. So the protective devices do work. And it saves us from having more outages in this bad weather," she said.

Almost at the same time, strong winds uprooted a big flame tree along Beach Road near Mobil Gas Station in Oleai.

A witness said the tree almost hit two passing cars. It caused a minor traffic as the tree occupied the northbound lane.

As of 1pm yesterday, the National Weather Service Forecast Office reported that the center of Tropical Storm Man-Yi was 135 miles east-northeast of Fais or 255 miles southwest of Guam.

The storm was moving northwest at 18 miles per hour with maximum sustained winds at 50 miles per hour.

[PIR editor’s note: Tropical Storm Risk yesterday showed Man-Yi moving in a northwesterly direction between Yap and Guam. The storm was expected to intensify to a cyclone as it approaches Okinawa. PIR was unable to determine if any damage was sustained in Yap.]

No watches or warnings are currently in effect in the CNMI.

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