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Yigo Guam Temple, several meetinghouses remain closed due to damage from May 24 typhoon

Temple suffers saturated carpets and furniture, damage to trees and landscaping after the downpour and 140-mph winds of Typhoon Mawar

The focal point of cleanup efforts inside and out from damage suffered during a typhoon that hit Guam two weeks ago, the Yigo Guam Temple will remain closed for the next month and a half.

Typhoon Mawar struck the U.S. territory island in the Pacific Ocean on Wednesday, May 24, hitting landfall with winds up to 140 mph, according to media reports. No fatalities were immediately reported after the storm, Guam’s worst in more than two decades.

First response following the storm turned to residents and residences, as missionaries and local Latter-day Saints have been working with the Salvation Army and Department of Integrated Services for Individuals with Disabilities to distribute water and food to those in need in Guam.

Latter-day Saint volunteers assist in the cleanup effort on the grounds of the Yigo Guam Temple after Typhoon Mawar hit the island of Guam on Wednesday, May 24, 2023. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The temple did not sustain any structural damage, but flooding from the immense downpour saturated the carpets and some furniture inside the Yigo temple. The typhoon also damaged trees and other landscaping on the temple grounds.

The temple will be closed for repairs through July 24, reported ChurchofJesusChrist.org. Cleanup efforts at the temple and local meetinghouses have been underway for more than a week.

A volunteer removes excess water from the carpeting inside a chapel in Yigo, Guam. A May 24, 2023, typhoon flooded the Yigo Guam Temple and a nearby meetinghouse. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

“Everyone was all set to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the temple when the storm moved in,” said Sister Cyndi Burtenshaw, who is serving as a Church communication missionary in the Micronesia Guam Asia North Area with her husband.

Also, the Church’s Yigo and Barrigada meetinghouses are without power and water utilities and remain closed.

Volunteers move a wet carpet after a May 24, 2023, typhoon flooded the Yigo Guam Temple and a nearby meetinghouse. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

At the Yigo meetinghouse adjacent to the temple, members — including youth working with adults — and missionaries removed water from the carpets and cleaned the floors and windows in the chapel. Carpets that could be removed were taken out of classrooms and laid over chairs to dry.

“The Talisay [Ward] and Talofofo [Branch] church building held a short sacrament meeting last Sunday, but they do not have power or water either,” said Sister Burtenshaw.

Trees were uprooted when Typhoon Mawar hit the island of Guam on Wednesday, May 24, 2023. Latter-day Saint volunteers assist in the cleanup effort. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Typhoon Mawar was listed as a Category 4 typhoon, the strongest recorded at Guam since 2002. “It sounded like a 747 landed on our roof,” said one senior missionary serving in Guam.

The heavy rains flooded homes and buildings throughout Guam, with most of the island losing electrical power and water. When power went out in Yigo, the lights of the temple remained on, run by a generator.

Volunteers clean up debris after Typhoon Mawar hit the island of Guam on Wednesday, May 24, 2023. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Guam has more than 2,500 Latter-day Saints in five congregations. The Yigo Guam Temple was dedicated on May 22, 2022.

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