State expands emergency proclamation to include flood damage on Oahu

State expands emergency proclamation to include flood damage on Oahu
Published: Apr. 17, 2018 at 8:18 PM HST|Updated: Apr. 19, 2018 at 3:12 PM HST
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OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The governor has expanded an emergency proclamation issued after widespread flooding on Kauai to include severe flood damage to homes and businesses in East Honolulu.

The supplementary emergency proclamationis aimed ensuring a speedy state response to flood damage on Oahu.

"We will continue to support Kauai, Honolulu counties and residents during the recovery and rebuilding phases," Gov. David Ige said, in a news release.

"We are also working with FEMA and the counties to ensure the process is as quick and efficient as possible. Although recovery will take time, the state will be there every step of the way."

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell on Wednesday issued an emergency proclamation for Oahu after at least 67 homes were seriously impacted by the weekend's heavy rains that caused flooding in several areas on the east side of the island.

According to a flooding update by the American Red Cross, assessment teams found water damage in several homes in the Niu Valley, Waimanalo, Kailua and Hawaii Kai areas, among others.

That's a crucial first step, Caldwell says, that must happen before a disaster proclamation can be issued.

"We have to know what the damage was, and it has to be a certain dollar amount, a certain number of homes affected," said Caldwell. "$7 million of damage (has been done) to storm drains between (Hawaii Kai) and Kailua."

Caldwell said that the dollar amount associated with the damage done is now sufficient enough for the federal government to step in and pay for as much as 80 percent of the damage done to public infrastructure.

In all, according to the Red Cross, three homes were determined to have been destroyed, which means that water had reached a height of at least 3 feet in essential living spaces.

They also found 26 homes with major damage, where water reached heights of at least 1.5 feet.

And 38 homes were listed as affected, having water in crawl spaces or basement areas, without damage to essential living spaces.

Four homes currently remain inaccessible.

The three destroyed homes were all in Kuliouou, and most of the homes with major damage were found in the Niu Valley area.

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