Jenrok residents recount ocean flooding

The residence of Turilang Menit in the Jenrok area of Majuro. Ocean inundation in late November during a high-wave period broke her seawall and moved the house from next to the seawall to near the road. Photo: Wilmer Joel.

Jenrok residents experienced the brunt of ocean flooding in late November.
One resident told the Journal her house was literally picked up by the storm-driven tide, and carried from near the ocean seawall to the roadside.

Over 200 local residents evacuated their homes for several days until the ocean inundations subsided.
“I was laying down on my bed, then all of a sudden the flood pushed my house from the seawall almost to the roadside,” said Turilang Menitan, a Jenrok resident. “My door broke, my clothes were wet, and my electronics were cracked. It brought rocks and waste from the sea making my house dirty and unsanitary.”

Menitan was one of the residents who quickly left her house, going to Rita Elementary School for two days before returning home to deal with rebuilding her house. “Fortunately, my families helped rebuild my house and make it normal again,” she said.

Randy John, a fisherman who also lives in the area, said he was terrified by the inundation at his place. “It destroyed my sea wall, and went inside my house,” he recalled of the late November flooding. “That night we evacuated to RES, and stayed there for two days till everything was over. We are doing well and still recovering from the flood.”

One young man got on a plane within a week of the flood and migrated. According to neighbor Randy Balos, the young man initially joined family in Springdale, Arkansas and is now staying in Oregon. “He left just a week later after the flood destroyed his house,” Balos said.

Most local residents encouraged the government to invest in more and better seawalls to protect residents living in this area. “My advice to the government would be for more seawalls being built in Demon Town,” said John.

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