Hawaii focuses on storm cleanup - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hawaii focuses on storm cleanup

By Roger Mari - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - With the worst of this weekend's heavy rains behind us, many are now trying to help local residents and businesses battered by the storms.

Over the past three days, the state of Hawaii had seen more than its fair share of heavy rains and flooding, leaving a mess and damage to private and public property on parts of Oahu. Now the first order of business is cleaning up.

"We have to verify damages to try and get a dollar amount, get the locations, go back and check again. We really want your patients as we go through this process," says John Cummings of the Department of Emergency Management.

Federal assistance has been requested to help out the hundreds of homes and businesses sustaining millions of dollars worth of damage from the storm. In the meantime, local agencies are looking for help from within Hawaii, such as donating basic necessities like clothing and household supplies.

"We're going to be reaching out to the private industry to store owners and where ever we can find help for those who need help very badly," says Ed Teixeira of the State Civil Defense.

It could be weeks before flood victims get financial aid. If disaster relief is granted, long-term low-interest loans will be offered to small businesses and home owners impacted by the storm.

"In the meantime, we can't wait, we just have to muster our county resources our state resources, we just cannot wait," says Teixeira.

The next step will be to open up assistance centers where people can apply for county, state and eventually federal assistance.

Civil Defense officials warn that the state is still in the early stages of the wet season, which runs from the beginning of October until March.

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