HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Governor Neil Abercrombie toured several spots on the Big Island and Maui hit hard by the tsunami. There is still no price tag for the damage yet, but he said he was pleased with the cleanup and recovery process.
Crews wrapped up repairs along Alii Drive in Kailua-Kona. At the pier nearby, divers were sent in to make sure the structure was safe after the tsunami surges caused cracks to form.
"It's really important for the community. We've lost this cruise ship day. We need the one for next Wednesday," said Maggie Brown of Body Glove Cruises.
"The pier over in Kailua-Kona is sufficiently solid that we can bring the cruise ship in next week," said Abercrombie.
The governor also got a glimpse of the salvage effort at Hulihee Palace. Water flooded the basement where old photos and records were stored. Over at the King Kamehameha Hotel, the cleanup continued after mud and water flooded damaged the lobby.
"Just structure damage plus business damages, looking at roughly $7 million, maybe $8 million, something like that," said hotel manager Jak Hu.
"The biggest impression on me is how fast we're coming back from the damage that was done. For example, at the King Kamehameha Hotel, while people were sweeping up in front of us, they were bringing people in and checking them in," said Abercrombie.
The visit also included a stop at Kealakekua Bay where a house ended up underwater after being swept off its foundation.
"When you get out there to Kealakekua Bay and realize that a house was literally taken off its foundation and sailed across the bay before finally sinking, it gives you an idea of the kind of power that you're dealing with," Abercrombie said.
The Department of Land and Natural Resources will step in if the owner's insurance company can't handle the cleanup.
"There's insulation that's being torn around, there's paints, there's toxic things that don't belong in this sanctuary, and we need to get them out soon," said Big Island resident Jean Love.
The tour finished up on Maui. The governor checked out a sunken boat in Maalaea Harbor and met with Mayor Alan Arakawa.
"People are working together, they're succeeding in bringing everything back to as normal as it can be," said Abercrombie.