Gov. issues emergency declaration, power and water coming back on
Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga has declared a State of Emergency for American Samoa following preliminary assessment, which found a lot of homes and other infrastructures damaged on the main island of Tutuila following Tropical Storm Gita, which moved south and away from the territory late in the evening on Friday.
And despite widespread damage caused by the storm, including more strong winds following the passing of the tropical storm, there are no reports of injuries, according to local authorities.
Lt. Gov. Lemanu Peleti Mauga, who is also the Government Authorized Representative (GAR) to federal agencies during disasters, told Samoa News on Saturday afternoon that the declaration was made late Friday afternoon following a preliminary assessment, which found that 90 percent of electric and water was out of service for the main island of Tutuila. (See details of ASPA assessment at the end of this report.)
The assessment also found a lot of damage to homes and infrastructure, with over 700 people taking refuse at six emergency shelters set up at public schools, he said, adding that people in the shelters are being provided with three meals a day.
The governor have since sent a request the US President for an Emergency Declaration for American Samoa, and the official letter was sent out Saturday along with the justification information, said Lemanu, who noted that there’s no dollar amount on the damages caused by the storm, but a full assessment is planned for Monday.
Lemanu confirmed that he had already spoken with the US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) regarding storm-ravaged Tutuila and the federal agency is sending a team.
The biggest challenge faced by the American Samoa Power Authority (ASPA) in restoring electricity is that many power lines are down at several villages. Samoa News observed power lines on the ground from Nu’uuli to Tafuna and in the Ottiville area.
Lemanu said electricity is slowly being restored to affected homes and in some areas, homes are connected individually to the power grid. As for water, it’s been restored from Leone village to part of Tafuna and Nu’uuli and from Avau to the eastern side of Tutuila. However, the water pressure is low in many areas.
Meanwhile, the government is looking to the private sector for assistance in recovery efforts.
ASPA ASSESSMENT STATEMENT
ASPA Power, Water & Wastewater Update (Saturday, February 10, 2018, 6pm)
55% of Power Customers now have power
70% of Water Customers now have water (some with low pressure)
As of 5pm SATURDAY the following feeders are on:
F-4 - Satala plant to shipyard.
F-8 - Satala power plant to LBJ hospital
SK - StarKist
STP - Samoa Tuna Processing
F-1 - Satala plant to Amouli
F-3 - Satala plant to Fagatogo
F-6 - Tafuna plant to Tafeta (mainline) and select customers that were safe to energize
F-9 - Tafuna plant to Fogagogo (mainline) and select customers that were safe to energize (ODAPM, Pacific Mini Mart, Cost U Less, KS Mart, others)
F-10 - Up to Auma (mainline) and select customers that were safe to energize
F-7 - Tafuna plant to Ottoville (mainline) and select customers that were safe to energize (Tradewinds, Homeland Security, LDS Chapel, others)
F-5 - Tafuna plant to ASG Gas Station (mainline) and select customers that were safe to energize (gas station, others)
Feeders that are still OFF:
F-5 - ASG Gas Station to Fagaalu
Facilities operating on Standby Generators:
Fagaalu Booster Station Water
Fagaalu Lift Station WW
ASPA is working to repair and energize Feeder primary lines first and energize customers that are safe to energize.
Lateral, tap lines and service drops will follow.
Priority facilities include:
Water pump and booster stations.
-Hospitals and heath centers.
-Supermarkets and shops
Caution: Treat all telephone and power lines as live at all times.
Areas with Water now:
- Tafuna to Canneries has water with good pressure
- Iliili to Tafuna has water with good pressure
- Pavaiai to Futiga has water with low pressure
- Futiga to Leone has water with low pressure
- Leone to Amanave has water with low pressure
- Vailoa to Taputimu has water with low pressure
- Parts of Vaitogi are online with low pressure
Areas to come online later tonight or tomorrow morning:
- Pago to Onenoa
- Pavaiai to Aoloau
Other areas will follow and more details will be available once crews are able to do an assessment of these areas.
Utulei return to the grid power at around 5pm yesterday.
Sewer overflow at LBJ intersection yesterday but it was all storm water. Now has a generator to power it.
Fogagogo plant generator has been running since power went off yesterday. One of the PV light fell into tank #3 jamming skimmer arm, crews will work on this tomorrow.
All lift stations from Coconut point to Papa lift stations are still without power. We will get generators to service these lift stations tomorrow.
Honey wagon services available to the public if needed. Call ASPA Customer Service at 770-1600 or 770-1605