State: More than 500 homes damaged, destroyed in historic rains

HANALEI, KAUAI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Some 532 homes were damaged or destroyed in the historic rains that swamped Oahu and Kauai last month, state officials said Wednesday.

Of those, 115 were destroyed or had major damage.

The new tally comes as the clean-up continues on Kauai, where widespread flooding and major landslides have brought life in some communities to a halt.

The American Red Cross of Hawaii has previously said that 48 homes on Oahu suffered major damage in the flooding and four were destroyed.

Also on Wednesday, the governor asked the president to declare a major disaster for Hawaii.

"This disaster is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the state and county governments. Federal assistance is necessary," Gov. David Ige said, in a news release.

The preliminary assessment from the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency also said that the damage to public properties from the flooding comes to nearly $20 million.

A total damage assessment to private homes and businesses hasn't yet been released, but is expected to be significantly higher. Officials also noted that the estimates don't include the costs to remove debris, clean waste from beaches, make repairs or replace materials.

For example, Ige said Wednesday that repairs to highways on Kauai are expected to come to about $35 million.

The state emergency management agency said the assessment was conducted by the state, counties, and federal entities, including FEMA.

Officials have said the rains that Kauai and Oahu saw from April 14 to 15 were unprecedented. Some parts of Kauai saw nearly 50 inches, an amount that could set a national record.

This story will be updated.  

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