Hawaii Damage from Honshu Tsunami totals $30.6 Million
By Wendy Osher
Residents on the Big Island are expected to benefit from an Administrative Disaster Declaration issued by the Governor yesterday through the U.S. Small Business Administration. The Big Island suffered $2.5 million in damage to homes, $2.3 million to government infrastructure, and $13.5 million to businesses in West Hawaii during the March 11 Honshu Tsunami.
The U.S. Small Business Administration is expected to provide low-interest disaster loans to private individuals, businesses and nonprofits on Hawai’i Island to repair or replace materials damaged from the tsunami. Damages sustained on the other islands did not qualify for disaster loans under SBA guidelines.
Work is also underway to request a Presidential Disaster Declaration to enable the other counties to recoup costs in repairing damaged public infrastructure, including buildings and harbors. The total preliminary cost estimate for damages across the state was $30.6 million.
Here in Maui County, there was $600,000 in damages reported to homes and businesses, and $2.7 million in damage to government infrastructure. Government Damage estimates in Honolulu were $3.4 million, and $60,400 in Kauai. Private property damage was estimated at $5.5 million, including damage to boats.
The State Civil Defense agency is expected to open a Disaster Assistance and Recovery Center at the Old Kona Airport Event Pavilion from Tuesday, March 29 to Wednesday, March 30, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Residents and businesses will be able to meet up with state agencies and community groups to get questions answered and explore the range of programs and services offered.
“These are follow-up steps to help those affected by the tsunami. When I visited places that were hard hit like the Big Island, the first step was already being done and that is the sharing of the aloha spirit and communities pulling together to take care of one another,” said Governor Abercrombie. “We are looking at every option that may be available to provide financial assistance to those who need it,” he said.
Residents and business owners should report any damage to their property, home or business to Aloha United Way by dialing 2-1-1 (Monday through Friday 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.) or to the State Civil Defense toll free line at 855-211-7456 (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday).
*** Supporting information courtesy Office of the Governor, State of Hawaii.