Maui News

State secures federal funding for storm recovery efforts on Oʻahu, Maui

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December 2021 ʻkona lowʻ storm. Hawaiian Electric crews on Maui made repairs to multiple storm-damaged and downed poles and spans of downed lines.
PC: Hawaiian Electric.

Hawaiʻi’s request for a major disaster declaration was granted by President Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Tuesday, following December’s severe storms on Oʻahu and Maui.

The record-breaking ‘kona low’ stormswept bands of heavy rain across the state for days. The storms caused record rainfall, washed out roads, flooded electrical equipment causing widespread power outages, and caused landslides that affected both public and private property.

“These intense storms caused significant impacts across Hawai‘i, but the damage was particularly severe in portions of O‘ahu and Maui,” said Luke Meyers, administrator of HI-EMA. “I’m gratified that our work with our county partners and the Federal Emergency Management Agency made it clear that this assistance was needed.”

The declaration orders federal assistance to supplement state and local recovery efforts in areas impacted by the storm and the resulting flooding and landslides between Dec. 5 and Dec. 10, 2021.

It also triggers the release of federal funds for the following:

  • Assistance with emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster damaged facilities.
  • Assistance for actions taken to prevent or reduce long term risk to life and property from natural hazards.
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According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the state may request additional funding if further assessments find it is warranted.

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It also authorized Hazard Mitigation Grant Program assistance throughout Hawai‘i for work to reduce or prevent the future risk to life and property from hazards.

Last month, Governor David Ige also secured low-interest federal disaster loans from the US Small Business Administration for residents and business owners on Oʻahu and Maui who were impacted by the severe storms. Information and applications are available online.

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