By Brooks Baehr - bio | email
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie issued an emergency proclamation Friday, the first step toward securing federal disaster relief to help pay for repairs to damage done during the tsunami.
Abercrombie said the state suffered at $3 million in damages to boat harbors, parks, and other property. That figure, he added, is likely to grow.
"This is going to be a considerable financial burden to assume, so we are going to try to maximize the opportunities to share those costs with appropriate agencies," Abercrombie said.
The state is already working with FEMA and Abercrombie said his office has been in contact with the white house to let President Obama know Hawaii will be seeking federal assistance.
The Hawaii Tourism Authority wants the world to know that Hawaii is open for business. HTA President Mike McCartney said he is still taking inventory to determine damage to island hotels and resorts, but said the visitor industry is fully functional.
There is concern the tragedy in Japan will negatively impact tourism from Japan.
"That core business to Hawaii is not just business, it's a relationship that goes back generations, so for us it's not about the money right now. It's about making sure that our visitors get back home safely. Making sure that the Japanese people know that Hawaii cares about them and that we send our aloha to them," McCartney said.