Governor declares state of emergency

Governor Lou Leon Guerrero (PNC file photo)

Governor Lou Leon Guerrero has signed Executive Order 2019-24, declaring a state of emergency in order to anticipate and alleviate the impacts to Guam arising from the approach of Super Typhoon Hagibis.

The National Weather Service, Guam Weather Forecast Office (NWS) reported that the projected path of Hagibis has shifted from its previous northward track and is now bearing south closer to Guam and its projected path will send damaging winds of 39 mph over Guam and the island’s coastal waters by Monday evening, Oct. 7.

According to NWS, the closest point of approach for Guam is early morning Tuesday morning and at that point, Guam could see winds as high as 50 mph to 55 mph with stronger gusts.

Based upon current forecasts and modeling, the governor stated that the growing strength and westward track of the developing typhoon represent an imminent, credible, and significant threat to the health, safety and welfare of Guam.

In anticipation of the typhoon’s closest approach, the governor stated that GHS/OCD and other territorial agencies must take precautionary and proactive steps over the next several days to secure the safety of the island and to reduce the potential destruction of property and loss of life.

Because of the emergency situation, the governor stated that it is necessary to declare a state of emergency so that resources can be immediately identified, mobilized and pre-positioned upfront.

The emergency declaration authorizes overtime and emergency procurement for heavy equipment rental, debris removal, nursing and medical support services for the North and Southern Community Health Centers, Guam Department of Education typhoon shelter operations, lodging for displaced residents, and the purchase of supplies, materials, goods, services or other expenditures, up to a combined total maximum of $250,000.

GHS/OCD shall be the lead agency for the emergency procurement of any goods and services relative to this Executive Order, the effective period of which shall be for 30 days.

Authorization is also given for the payment of overtime, for exempt and non-exempt Government of Guam employees, to work in excess of 40 hours a week to mitigate and respond to the effects of Super Typhoon Hagibis throughout Guam.

The OCD is authorized to determine the eligibility of overtime expenditures resulting from work performed by the government agencies, and the approval shall be obtained prior to incurring any overtime or expenses. Failure to obtain prior approval shall be grounds for denying reimbursement.

Finally, all departments and agencies are instructed to keep appropriate documentation on all emergency expenses authorized by Executive Order 2019-24 for inspection by the governor, the Legislature, and the Public Auditor of Guam, and in anticipation of federal disaster assistance approval by the President of the United States to be administered by FEMA.