Disaster Assistance Begins on Kauai

KAUAI (KHNL) -- Robert Wolaver can explain what happened, but words don't begin to describe the loss he suffered when raging storm waters hit his Kilauea home last week.

"We lost about 3/4 acres of our lower land that's on the stream," Wolaver said. "Trees, fruit trees, palm trees. It was basically scoured."

Fifty-one families gathered in Kilauea to meet with state and county recovery agencies, inquiring about everything from flood insurance to building permits.

Everyone needed different kinds of help.

"Clean up primarily at this time is the primary issue, i think. there's mountains of trees and debris," Wolaver said.

From the air, another type of damage assessment was taking place.

But an aerial survey wasn't enough for U.S. Sen Dan Inouye, who wanted a closer look at the flood damage.

He came away impressed with recovery efforts.

"It's unlike new orleans for example. They show pictures of what happened three months ago and you take a picture today and it still looks the same," Inouye said. "But here, I suppose there's a different spirit." I

nouye says state and county officials need to complete their damage estimates - but he believes between $15 and 30 million in federal aid may be available.

Most of the people who came to this recovery center aren't sure what kind of help they're eligible for, but they say they'll take what they can get. "

We're not sure what we're going to get as far as assistance here," Wolaver said. "But we have to take a look anyway."