Federal Funds Secured for Recovery From Devastating Floods on Maui
Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) lauded President Barrack Obama, Governor David Ige and the Federal Emergency Management Agency for helping to secure federal funds for recovery following devastating floods at ʻĪao Valley on Maui last month.
President Obama issued a major disaster declaration for Hawaiʻi on Thursday, which triggers the release of federal funds to help communities recover from the severe storms, flooding, landslides, and mudslides that occurred Sept. 11-14, 2016.
“Our communities were hit very hard by these severe storms with extensive damage incurred. These are urgently needed federal funds that will support the tireless efforts that have been underway for weeks by the State, County, National Guard, Army Corps of Engineers, residents, and private sector to rebuild and recover from the recent devastation,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, who yesterday visited ʻĪao Valley on Maui to assess the flood damage and visit with families that suffered serious losses.
“I saw the destruction firsthand and have been working with FEMA to issue the disaster declaration necessary to secure funds available through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. I’m grateful to President Obama’s team, FEMA, and the governor’s office for their work to make this possible.”
The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency provides grants to states and local governments to implement long-term hazard mitigation measures after a major disaster declaration. The purpose of the program is to reduce the loss of life and property due to natural disasters and to enable mitigation measures to be implemented during the immediate recovery from a disaster.
The threshold for declaration of a federal disaster is $1.41/per capita (based on statewide population). Hawaiʻi reported $7,423,431 in damages, but authorities have estimated total losses to be much higher.
On Tuesday, DLNR Maui District Superintendent, Larry Pacheco said restoring ʻĪao Valley State Monument alone would cost between $6 million and $15 million. Meantime, Maui Managing Director Keith Regan placed damage estimates at the County’s Kepaniwai Park in excess of $10 million.
The damage estimates will exceed the federal threshold with $5.19 in estimated damage per person. All areas in the State of Hawaiʻi are eligible for assistance under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.