East Oahu residents say city failed to document dozens of flood-damaged homes

Updated: May. 15, 2018 at 11:32 PM HST
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AINA HAINA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - About 100 East Oahu residents gathered at Kalani High School Tuesday night to meet with state, city, and area elected officials to discuss last month's devastating flood.

Authorities are on the hunt for homeowners who haven't reported damage yet.

Niu Valley resident Nevine Moustafa is one of those homeowners who met with the Red Cross and thought her damage was documented by the city.

"I don't understand because I made a claim with my insurance, I made a police report the same day, all of it was the same day," Moustafa said. "I met with the Red Cross. So, I don't understand how my house is not reported."

Moustafa said 32 inches of water rushed through her home along Kalanianaole Highway. She said she lost everything, including her two pet cats.

"This is making me even more angry and more frustrated and devastated because you can imagine the magnitude of the loss that we endured," Moustafa said.

The city and state officials are looking for homeowners like Moustafa to help meet the federal standard to qualify for individual assistance from FEMA.

Last week, the governor's request was denied because the numbers from Oahu and Kauai fell about 60 homes short.

"There's a threshold of 173 homes based on the population of the state of Hawaii at 1.4 million. So, because of that, we need to get to 173. At the current, I believe when we submitted the paperwork, we were only about 115," said Hawaii Emergency Management Agency Director, Major General Joe Logan.

The process is under appeal because officials believe that number is drastically under-reported. Those who believe their house may not have been reported can submit a survey online.

The coordinator of Aina Haina Prepared says his team of volunteers will be going door-to-door to get a more accurate number in hopes to pave the way to more federal aid.

"We have over 100 homes we'd like to get to to verify the damages and hopefully increase their standing with the assessment," Danny Tengan said.

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