Marianas Variety

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    Tuesday, May 21, 2019-9:44:03A.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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Feds’ team-up with local gov’t facilitates quicker recovery for NMI

“WE will not be as far as we are right now in the recovery efforts without the high level of coordination between the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the CNMI government and the  private sector,” FEMA Region IX Administrator Robert J. Fenton Jr. told Variety on Monday.

 He said there is a “great team atmosphere” on island. “The community is highly involved in the recovery,” he added.

Robert Fenton

 Fenton was one of the guests at the inauguration of Gov. Ralph Torres and Lt. Gov. Arnold Palacios in Koblerville on Monday.

“By February we will have all the critical infrastructure and power restored and temporary schools built and ready for use,” Fenton said.

 “We will be able to pull out the generators, and we will have the roofing mission done. As we get to that point, we will transition to longer-term teams to rebuild the infrastructure — an improved infrastructure that is resilient for future events.

 “What we want to do  is harden the power system, and spend some time making sure all concrete poles are in.”

Fenton said it would make sense to put some of the power lines for the airport underground.

 He recently visited the site for the temporary classrooms in Koblerville.

He said 15 classrooms are up and the construction crew is already pouring concrete. “By the end of the month, those will be done,” Fenton said.

He assured that the temporary schools are sturdy and can withstand winds at a certain level. He added that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is the lead agency in the construction of temporary classrooms.

 “We will work with CNMI Public School System and see if they can go ahead and put the necessary supplies inside so they can use the classrooms. Then we will look into rebuilding the destroyed schools stronger and better.”

 Fenton said FEMA is also assessing “if it is cost-effective to rebuild some of the destroyed homes, and how would we do that, and what would they look like, and  what is the building code here —  those are the kind of things that we are looking at.”