Residents with flood damage urged to report it to the city as deadline nears

Homeowners and renters with flood damage urged to report to FEMA
Published: May. 17, 2018 at 8:34 PM HST|Updated: May. 17, 2018 at 9:25 PM HST
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HAWAII KAI, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Farm and homeowner, Michael Tsuruda, says the April flood destroyed his irrigation system, 5,000 potted plants and caused $25,000 in damage to his farm.

He's the owner of AJA Nursery in Kamilonui Valley in Hawaii Kai.

His home is on the same property and was also damaged by a foot of water. He says he went to the disaster recovery center, but says he's seen no support from government.

"As far as the damage goes, I'm kinda sad because there's no help for the farmer. If it wasn't for Danny Tangan and the volunteers and family, there's no help at all," said Tsuruda.

Now he's being urged to act before a Friday deadline.

State and county officials say that homeowners and renters who have not had an official assessment by FEMA or the Red Cross need to contact the City by 4 p.m. Friday or the state could lose out in millions of dollars in grants and low interest loans for individuals.

"It's not going to make everyone 100% percent whole, but it's there to get you back on the road to recovery," said John Cummings, Public Information Officer, City Department of Emergency Management.

While the Kauai and Oahu floods were declared a federal disaster for public infrastructure, FEMA did not approve the individual assistance program because Hawaii did not meet the threshold. A minimum 173 homeowners must report major damages and so far only 115 have reported.

"This helps everybody across the state not just Oahu and it helps Kauai too so even if they don't need assistance, we need to get their damage on the books," said Rep. Mark Hashem (D-Hahaione-Kahala).

Meanwhile Tsuruda is watering his plants my hand and says he'll try to report to FEMA by the deadline.

Click here or call 723-8960 before 4 p.m. Friday to report damage.

This story may be updated.

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