Residential return process begins in Lahaina disaster area, first zone identified for reentry
A multi-agency task force responsible for the coordination of reentry procedures for residents to access properties located in the restricted disaster area has identified the first zone that has completed comprehensive reviews required before reentry could be authorized. Kaniau Road in Zone 1C will be the first area to be cleared for reentry next week. (Scroll down to see details on the reentry process for this area).
“The process to clear each zone for reentry is a complex one to ensure we do all we can to maximize public safety and wellbeing as residents access a disaster area that contains hazardous conditions,” said Darryl Oliveira, interim administrator for the County of Maui Emergency Management Agency.
“The reentry process is designed for those who have a need to return to their properties and homes, and out of respect for all they have suffered, residents in the reopened zone will be granted first access to their property with a high level of support during the first two days of reentry including water, shade, washing stations, portable toilets, medical and mental health care, MauiBus transportation from local hotel shelters and language assistance,” Oliveira said.
With 17 primary zones and 83 sub-zones established for the 2,170 acres in the five-mile Lahaina impact area, a systemized process of safety reviews must be completed before reentry access for residential areas is established. The process includes reviews and authorization by County, State and Federal agencies and utilities.
Parcels released for reentry undergo inspections by the Environmental Protection Agency for hazardous materials, the County of Maui Highways division for road access safety, the US Army Corps of Engineers for structural safety, the County of Maui Department of Water Supply for water quality and sewer function that meets safety standards, and safety inspections of electric and gas lines by Hawaiian Electric and Hawaiʻi Gas. Reentry plans will be subject to weather conditions and may be adjusted or changed should conditions warrant.
As zones are deemed ready for reentry by property owners and residents, announcements with the identified zone information will be issued on the County’s recovery website, www.mauirecovers.org, as well as through news releases.
To gain access to a reopened zone, county-issued vehicle passes will be required. Two vehicle passes will be available to property owners and two vehicle passes will be available per rental dwelling. Once a zone is announced for reentry, property owners and tenants in that zone only can apply in person to verify their ownership or occupancy and pick up their vehicle passes; the intake site for vehicle passes is currently located at Lahaina Civic Center. At that time, optional personal protective equipment will be distributed. Owners and residents with passes may bring in their vehicles anyone they choose.
“As we make our way through the tragedy of the disaster, this managed reentry process will give residents a chance to have some closure,” said Mayor Richard Bissen. “We know how much this means to those affected and I’m grateful that agencies from the County, State and Federal levels- as well as numerous nonprofit groups- have worked nonstop to be able to reach this significant stage.”
County of Maui Disaster Area RESIDENTIAL ZONE ANNOUNCEMENT
WHAT: County of Maui Disaster Area Restrictions will be lifted for owners and residents with vehicle passes from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Sept. 25, and Tuesday, Sept. 26, in Zone 1C. Zones have been created to facilitate a systematic and supported return into the disaster area while prioritizing public safety and community security.
WHEN: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. MONDAY 9/25/23 and TUESDAY 9/26/23
WHERE: Restrictions will be LIFTED for the following RESIDENTIAL ZONES:
ZONE 1C – Kaniau Road
REENTRY VEHICLE PASS DISTRIBUTION: Vehicle pass applications and on-site distribution will be held from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Sept. 22; 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23; and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 24, at Lahaina Civic Center. Reentry vehicle pass will be required at checkpoint. Two vehicle passes will be available per property owner, and two vehicle passes will be available per rental dwelling. See below for details. Also, optional personal protective equipment (PPE) kits will be provided during vehicle pass distribution.
ROADWAYS: All roadways to access zones will be clear for residents and owners. During the first two days of supported reentry, access to Kaniau Road off Honoapiʻilani Highway will be right-turn only. After Tuesday, entry will continue for local traffic only.
SAFETY AND ADVISORIES: Once a fire has burned through an area, many dangers may remain. It’s important to be aware of the hazards and to know what to look for when reentering. For full safety details, visit www.mauirecovers.org. For air quality information, visit https://health.hawaii.gov/mauiwildfires/. County of Maui Department of Water Supply Unsafe Water Advisory remains in effect. For water advisory, visit https://www.mauicounty.gov.
SUPPORT: A high level of support will be provided to returning residents during the first two days of reentry including water, shade, washing stations, portable toilets, medical and mental health care, MauiBus transportation from local hotel shelters and language assistance.
VEHICLE PASS DETAILS: The following documents may be used to verify property ownership or occupancy to receive a reentry vehicle pass:
- Property Deed or Title: A property deed or title in your name is one of the most direct ways to demonstrate ownership. This document should clearly show your name as the property owner.
- Utility Bills: Utility bills such as electricity, water, or gas bills that are addressed to your name at the property address can serve as proof of residency. These bills should be recent and show consistent usage.
- Property Tax Records: Property tax records from the county’s Real Property Tax office that list you as the property owner are strong evidence of ownership. Visit: www.mauipropertytax.com
- Lease Agreement: If you have been renting, a lease agreement with your name, the landlord’s name, and the property address can establish your residency.
- Hawai’i Driver’s License: A valid Hawai’i driver’s license with your current address is a widely accepted proof of residency.
- Vehicle Registration: If your vehicle is registered at the property address, it can indicate your residency.
- Voter Registration: A voter registration card listing your address in Lahaina can be used to confirm your residency.
- Financial Statements: Financial statements sent to your Lahaina address can help establish residency, especially if they cover an extended period. Driver’s license or identification card,
DETAILS: For details on reentry to impacted areas; safety information for returning to your property; drinking water and wastewater; maps and data; fire debris removal; recovery phases; financial and housing assistance; and business support, visit www.mauirecovers.org.