Port Authority of Guam defends post-storm performance, refutes GTA's claim
By Pacific Island Times News Staff
Smarting from a claim made by a local carrier that the port was a choke point after typhoon Mawar, the Port Authority of Guam on Tuesday defended the flow of its operations after the storm.
“We are shocked that GTA TeleGuam would provide misinformation in their federal FCC filings regarding the port’s operations as well as our successful and swift recovery from typhoon Mawar,” said Rory Respicio, port general manager.
In a June 20 petition filed with the Federal Communications Commission, GTA TeleGuam stated, “The local commercial port that imports 90 percent of all goods entering Guam was hobbled by physical and structural damage from the storm, which has impeded the transportation of goods and supplies onto the island.”
Respicio described GTA’s statements as “reckless," which he said created "a false narrative about what really happened" and can affect the port's bond rating.
He said despite the damage it sustained from Mawar, Guam's only commercial seaport was able to open up 100 percent operational only three days after the storm passed with normal operations and normal vessel sequence within four days.
“It is also an insult to our hard-working men and women who showed their true Port Strong Spirit and their dedication to public service and commitment to our island community by getting our port fully operational in only three days," he said.
He noted that several port employees left their families and homes to ride out the typhoon at the Port and many reported in to begin cleanup immediately once the road was cleared for passage.
“Three days after the storm passed, U.S. Coast Guard Captain Nicholas Simmons, Captain of the Port, issued the all-clear to open from the waterway perspective and I immediately issued the all-clear from the dockside," Respicio said.
Respicio said the federal filings do not present true facts about the power and water restoration efforts on the island following typhoon Mawar. He said will write to the FCC to refute GTA’s erroneous claims.