Maui News

President Declares Disaster for Hawaii’s March Storm

April 18, 2012, 3:03 PM HST
* Updated April 18, 3:09 PM
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The Hanawana Bridge in east Maui was among the areas affected by a severe storm in March. The land bridge has since been repaired, but other areas across the state are still recovering from the storm damage. File photo by Wendy Osher.

By Wendy Osher

President Barack Obama issued a major disaster declaration for Hawai’i following severe storms last month that resulted in flooding, landslides, and property damage.

One of the heavily affected areas was the Hana area of East Maui where roofs blew off, hail fell, and, roads were washed out.

The declaration frees up federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts for areas affected by the storm between March 3-11, 2012.

The funding is available through the US Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Hana/East Maui damage from March 2012 storm. File photo courtesy photo by Jun Pua.


The funding specifically covers emergency work and repair or replacement of facilities damaged by the severe storms, flooding, and landslides in Kauai County.  Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.


Mark H. Armstrong, who is serving as the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected area, said additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.

The following is a summary of key federal disaster aid programs that can be made available as needed and warranted under President Obama’s major disaster declaration:

Assistance for the State and Affected Local, Tribal Governments Can Include as Required:

  • Payment of not less than 75% of the eligible costs for repairing or replacing damaged public facilities, such as roads, bridges, utilities, buildings, schools, recreational areas and similar publicly owned property, as well as certain private non-profit organizations engaged in community service activities. (Source: FEMA funded, state administered.)
  • Payment of not more than 75% of the approved costs for hazard mitigation projects undertaken by state and local governments to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property from natural or technological disasters. (Source: FEMA funded, state administered.

How to Apply for Assistance:

  • Application procedures for local, tribal and state governments will be explained at a series of federal/state applicant briefings with locations to be announced in the affected area by recovery officials. Approved public repair projects are paid through the state from funding provided by FEMA and other participating federal agencies.
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