As good as things can be for a first tropical storm of the season, Dededo Mayor Melissa Savares said her village stood tall during and after Tropical Storm Maria on Thursday morning.
By around 10:30 a.m. when she spoke with The Guam Daily Post, power had been restored to most of Dededo. The biggest project at the time was cleaning up downed tree branches, some of which had become entangled in power lines, she said. Guam Power Authority crews were still on site working on those "loose lines," but she said there were no reports of any downed poles in Dededo.
"They've been out here since this morning," she said of the GPA linemen.
The Department of Public Works also was on site working on restoring some traffic lights.
Asked if there was any flooding, Savares said because the heavy rains had come in the very early morning when the roads were mostly empty, she didn't have anything bad to report.
"Areas that usually get really flooded were already receded and the water was down," Savares said.
She specifically mentioned the Summer Town area and some housing behind it, where residents in the past had experienced flooding because of drainage issues. Savares said a backhoe brought in previously had solved that problem.
Some of the island's residents were seen repairing blown canopy structures.
This was the case in the home of Leeray Zapatos.
Family: Around $1K in property damage
Zapatos and father-in-law Tom Medler were trying to repair damage on Zapatos' home, along Ysengsong Road.
The family's tarp had flown clean off the piping and different home items had been flung around the property.
The cost of the damage may be at least $1,000, according to the family.
Medler said he'd underestimated the power of the storm winds. He'd heard winds would be around 35 to 40 miles per hour but it felt much stronger, Medler said.
The family had done some securing, but Medler said he was out at 3 a.m. trying to secure the tarp again.
He said even if warnings make it seem that winds aren't going to be as strong, it's best to prepare as much as possible anyway.
The biggest focus as the afternoon approached, Savares said, was just getting tree debris cleared to stay prepared for the chance of additional rain.
"We're just keeping the drainage open in case we do get a flash flood later on," she said.
She advised residents on Thursday to remain indoors until advised that the all-clear had been given and to simply "stay safe."
"We really want to thank everyone for remaining indoors as much as possible," she said. "Communication was a big thing here and everyone worked well together."
Some of the island's southern villages lost power Wednesday night as Tropical Storm Maria passed through Guam and were waiting to be reconnected to the grid.
GPA spokesman Art Perez on Thursday said crews were working to restore power, but the system is still unstable.
Here are some other post-storm updates:
• Merizo. No major flooding or debris reported, but the village was still waiting for power to be restored as of Thursday afternoon. Power went out Wednesday night.
• Umatac. The village lost power Wednesday night and still had no power by midday Thursday. No major flooding or debris was reported in Umatac, according to Mayor Johnny Quinata. His staff was out at 6 a.m. Thursday trimming trees and clearing minor debris.
• Talofofo. "We survived," said Talofofo Mayor Vicente Taitague. His village had no major flooding or debris, and losses included a few fallen banana and young mango trees. Power went out in the village late Wednesday night and went back on around 8 a.m. Thursday.
• Yona. Mayor Jesse Blas said power had been restored just before 1 p.m. Thursday and that everyone there was "doing OK." He'd spent the morning with staff clearing out minor tree debris from some of their roads and said the village had no flooding to report. He advised residents to "take caution" until the entire storm has passed.
• Piti. The mayor's office said damage was minimal, reporting only some fallen trees.
• Agana Heights. No flooding had been reported, but there was green debris littering some of the roads. Power was restored Thursday morning.
• Sinajana. Mayor Robert Hofmann said the village had minimal damage, and had been preparing for the storm since early this week. But Hofmann said the full force of the storm still came as a surprise, noting that he was surprised the island never left Condition of Readiness 4.
• Tamuning. Fallen trees pulled down power lines on Ypao Road, according to Tamuning Mayor Louise Rivera, but that was the worst of the damage, and one of the only areas still without power by midday Thursday. She said crews were working to clear Ypao Road at that time. There was some flooding, but the water receded soon after the storm passed. Rivera said residents can take any green waste to Ypao Point.
• Mongmong-Toto-Maite. The mayor's office said there was minimal damage, consisting mostly of downed trees and debris.