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Guam flooded with $338 million in federal aid after Mawar



By Pacific Island Times News Staff


More than $338 million in federal assistance streamed into Guam one year after Typhoon Mawar barreled through the island and left trails of destruction.


Federal Emergency Management Agency representatives remain stationed in some affected communities, working with local and state officials to provide public assistance grants and temporary housing, according to Guam Homeland Security Office of Civil Defense. 


Typhoon survivors received grants from FEMA through the Individual Assistance and Public Assistance Programs, and low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration.


Packing maximum sustained winds of 130-140 mph, Mawar was the strongest storm to hit Guam since 2002, battering the island on May 24, 2023, with its eye passing over the northernmost part.


The civil defense office reported that 175 projects have been approved for $10.4 million as of May 6.


“Public assistance is a cost-sharing program that aids state, local, tribal, and territorial governments, and certain types of nonprofit organizations, impacted by federally declared disasters,” said the civil defense office, which administers the FEMA programs.


The assistance allowed cost reimbursements for eligible work including debris removal, emergency protective measures and repairs to infrastructure and other structures.


As of May 5, FEMA has received 29,955 applications and approved close to $ 71 million in grants for renters and homeowners in Guam. 


“Nearly $40 million has been provided in housing assistance that helps pay for uninsured home repairs, home replacement, and rental assistance for short-term lodging,” the civil defense office said. “More than $31 million in Other Needs Assistance grants have been provided to help pay for uninsured personal property replacement and other serious storm-related needs.” 


The Small Business Administration, which closed the loan application period on July 28, 2023,  has approved more than $257 million in long-term, low-interest disaster loans for homeowners, renters and businesses.

Approved FEMA loans
More than $213 million in home loans'
More than $41 million in business loans.
More than $2 million in economic injury loans to support small businesses and nonprofits that suffered disaster-related economic losses.

Officials said the flexible loans may help supplement insurance settlements and FEMA grants.

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At Andersen Air Force Base, the Child Development Center on Wednesday reopened its newly repaired building, which had been closed due to major structural and material damage caused by Mawar. Between the closure and the reopening, the center had been operating in split locations.


“The biggest setback for reopening was the challenge of operating the CDC while preparing for the move and necessary inspections,” said Ana Kosko, CDC director. “Acquiring specific furniture and equipment which is not available in Guam, that had to be delivered through freight forwarders, also contributed to the delay.”


According to an article posted on the AAFB website, the prolonged closure impacted families who relied on the center for safe, convenient, and accredited childcare, and were struggling with their recovery from the typhoon.






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