Maui County, HECO and State trio vow to work together against future weather emergencies
August 30, 2023, 4:37 AM HST
* Updated August 30, 4:55 AM
State and county officials joined Hawaiian Electric Company executives in a vow to work together against future weather-driven emergencies.
In a joint statement from Major General Kenneth S. Hara, Adjutant General with the Hawaiʻi Department of Defense, Maui County Mayor Richard T. Bissen Jr., and Hawaiian Electric President and CEO Shelee M.T. Kimura the leaders said they are working together to ensure safety amid continuing threats of high winds, severe drought and wildfire risks.
The statement comes as the National Weather Service has issued a Fire Weather Watch for leeward areas of all Hawaiian islands from midday today through Thursday afternoon.
Three weeks after the devastation of Lahaina, crews are still working to recover and to strengthen defenses against windstorms and wildfires. With high winds and severe drought conditions continuing to threaten parts of Maui, the trio vowed to work together to minimize the risk of wildfire and ensure public safety.
The vow for unity also comes following a lawsuit filed by the County of Maui last week against HECO, and a retort from company executives defending the utility‘s response during the Aug. 8 wildfire disaster.
In the joint statement, the trio said: “The safety of Maui residents, businesses and visitors is the top priority of our government agencies and our dedicated state and county teams, supported by many partners in our community, including Hawaiian Electric.”
“In our lifetimes, Hawai‘i has never been tested like this. We will do what we have always done when confronted by hardship and heartbreak – we will stand together for our people and communities and work to keep them safe,” the statement read.