Super typhoon had minimal effect on Guam

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While the super typhoon has passed the Marianas, Adelup reminds the public that the effects of the storm may still be seen along Guam's coastal waters.

Guam has been spared the wrath of Super Typhoon Hagibis and the island was returned to Condition of Readiness 4 at 10 a.m. this morning. PNC sat down with the governor’s communication team to see just how well the island fared.

At first light, Governor Lou Leon Guerrero and her team hit the streets to gauge the aftermath of Super Typhoon Hagibis. Janela Carrera, the governor’s communications director shared the findings of the “windshield” assessment.

“As you know, the Governor did her windshield assessment this morning and she was generally satisfied with what she saw and felt that we were at a point where it’s pretty much safe to continue normal operations. So she decided to release the all-clear at 10 a.m. thereby declaring COR 4,” Carrera said.

According to Press Secretary Krystal Paco, the Adelup team paid visits to northern, central and southern Guam, evaluating the island’s infrastructure. Accompanying the Governor was DPW Deputy Director Jesse Garcia and DPW’s Chief Engineer.

“We know the problem areas down south so we went straight for those again. One of those areas is Barcinas road, the debris always get packed up there and so we set DPW equipment there so we could mitigate the flooding before it even started. The water was running smoothly this morning. We also took a little tour down south to see what it was really like. We got to see some of the high waves on the west side, but nothing too bad,” Paco said.

Paco added: “The governor got to see how the bridges were holding up and why there was flooding and so we are definitely going to work on improving those sights so that we don’t have to worry about these in the future.”

While the super typhoon has passed the Marianas, Carrera reminds the public that the effects of the storm may still be seen along Guam’s coastal waters.

“Even though Super Typhoon Hagibis is moving away from the Marianas, we still have some dangerous seas out there and so we want to remind the public that it’s still dangerous try to stay way from beaches at this time. The NWS will put out a high seas advisory and small aircraft advisory,” Carrera said.

She added that all military beaches will remain closed.

While the island fared well through the storm, GPA spokesman Art Perez says its passing did have some affect on the island’s power.

“With the onset of damaging winds as early as yesterday evening, GPA has been responding to trouble calls regarding isolated outages in different parts of the island. Earlier today, we had areas of Canada out, Barrigada out, areas of Chalan Pago and Yona the Menengon Pulantat area and also some areas down south,” Perez said.

As of 9 a.m., he says low voltage conditions were reported in Malojloj and Inarajan and some areas of Santa Rita where vegetation needed to be cleared from power lines. All year, GPA has been proactive in clearing vegetation nearing power lines. Perez says that because of this, no major transmission line outages were reported. For those who experienced an outage, GPA is asking for your patience as they work as quickly as possible to safely restore power.

Meanwhile, the declaration of COR 4 meant that GovGuam employees didn’t get the day off and were made to report to work as normal operations resumed. However, GDOE schools remained closed.

All information on Super Typhoon Hagibis was disseminated through the Joint Information Center and while Adelup was pleased with the release of information, some GovGuam employees reported to K57 that there seemed to be a delay, indicating that the public was not updated at the same time as the government.

In response to this, Carrera stated: “Everyone receives all verified and official information at the same time. Cabinet officials and essential staff responsible for opening agencies or operating during the storm are regularly told what may potentially happen. This helps them prepare to serve the public, especially when reopening agencies. This is similar to Office of Civil Defense and response coordinators receiving briefings to help the island with coordination.”

As of 2 p.m. this afternoon, Super Typhoon Hagibis was located 280 miles north-northwest of Guam continuing to move out of the Marianas at 15 miles per hour. The National Weather Service says that Hagibis’s current track will take it towards Japan this weekend.

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Jolene Toves
Jolene joined the PNC team in 2017, as a producer, co-anchor and investigative reporter covering law enforcement, courts and crimes. Notable coverage includes the Ehlert case, the Mark Torre Jr. trial, the Allan Agababa trial, exclusive pieces on the Life of a Drug Dealer/Addict, and Life behind bars...the story of Honofre Chargualaf and Kevin Cruz. In 2019, she was promoted to Assistant News Director and Lead Anchor. From 2015 to 2017 she served as Public Relations and Promotions Manager, for the Hotel Nikko Guam handling local radio and advertorial promotions, as well as produced and directed tv commercials for the hotel. Prior to this she worked with KUAM for three years as a reporter and segment host. She began her journalism career in 2012, working with Glimpses of Guam contributing to the Guam Business Magazine, R&R magazine, MDM magazine and the Marianas Business Journal.