Acting Mayor Keith Regan issued an emergency proclamation today, declaring that the county needed to remove more than 400 dead eucalyptus trees in the county owned rights of way along Piʻiholo Road before any more falling trees cause property damage, injury or death this winter.
The proclamation was officially transmitted to Council Services today after Regan met with Council Chair Mike White, to discuss the urgency of the situation.
Council Chair White agreed that the county should act immediately to protect residents and travelers in the area before the weather gets worse this season.
“Mayor Arakawa said before he left for his vacation last week that this situation needs to be addressed and if we have to declare and emergency to get the funds, then that’s what we should do, ” said Acting Mayor Keith Regan. “We know more rain will fall, which will further soften the ground so we need to move quickly.”
“Safety of our community is a top priority and with the hazards posed by the falling trees, swift action is needed,” said Council Chair Mike White. “I appreciate the diligent work of the Administration and their efforts in mobilizing to address this issue.”
Piʻiholo residents have reported large eucalyptus trees falling whenever high winds or heavy rains affect the area. The county removed 20 trees from the area earlier this year after a 70 foot eucalyptus fell on a Makawao man’s truck in April. That particular tree fell from private property and not county property.
The emergency proclamation declares that the “dead trees pose an imminent danger of death, injury and property damage to the residents of Maui County, and visitors using Piʻiholo Road, which warrants preemptive and protective action.”
The exact amount of emergency funding needed for tree removal work has not yet been specified, however a budget amendment for $1 million will be transmitted to the council for this project this week.