Trump approves Ige's disaster declaration after severe flooding causes damages on Kauai, Oahu

April 02, 2018

Original Article

U.S. President Donald Trump has approved a major disaster declaration that will provide public assistance for damages caused by severe flooding and landslides on Kauai and Oahu last month.

The president's approval means that public money will be available for emergency work and the repair and replacement of disaster-damaged public facilities in the City and County of Honolulu and Kauai County, according to a news release.

“I want to thank our FEMA partners for their on-the-ground assistance and rapid response to this request. I have spoken with mayors [Kirk] Caldwell and [Bernard] Carvalho to let them know help is on the way,” Hawaii Gov. David Ige said in a statement.

The governor's office said the request for individual assistance is under review.

A preliminary assessment of the damages put them at close to $20 million after heavy rainfall hit both islands from April 13-16. Kauai's North Shore took the brunt of the flooding, leaving residents stranded in their homes without power.

Ige submitted the disaster declaration request on May 2 following a Joint Preliminary Damage Assessment, which conducted by state, county and federal agencies.

The JPDA said that 532 homes were impacted by the flooding and landslides on both islands, five of which are second homes. More than 115 homes were identified with sufficient damage to be classified as “destroyed” or with “major damage” by FEMA’s standards.

The assessment does not include highway and roadway damage. However, Hawaii is also seeking reimbursement for highway recovery efforts through the Federal Highway Administration’s emergency relief program.

While more damage is expected to be identified, the assessed damage has already met the public assistance threshold in each county.