Editor’s note: The Garden Island continues a series of stories on the one-year anniversary of flooding that devastated much of the island. We are looking at the impact of the flood, the recovery, how things stand today and what’s ahead.
LIHUE — According to the County of Kauai, it has received $25 million from the state of Hawaii to help recover from the April 2018 flooding diaster. In addition, the county anticipates receiving reimbursement from the Natural Resource Conservation Service and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The FEMA funds are reimbursed through the agency’s public assistance program after selected projects have been completed.
“The mayor’s administration will continue to work with our congressional delegation and housing agency toward leveraging these funds,” said county spokeswoman Kim Tamaoka. “Additionally, we are still awaiting CDBG (federal Community Development Block Grant) Disaster Recovery Grant funds to be appropriated by Congress.”
According to the county, one of the costliest expenditures associated with the flood cannot be measured. The hours of coordination, manual labor, sweat, blood, and the overall assistance from public officials and community members cannot be possibly measured. But it all has a cost.
What can be semi-measured is the cost for things such as debris removal, which the county estimates to be in the “millions.”
Other costs included reopening Kahiliholo Road and the culvert project, which cost the county $2.2 million.
The Black Pot Beach Park sand-restoration project totaled $1.8 million.
The Weke Road project, which is still under construction, will cost an estimated $3 million. The Black Pot comfort station project that is underway is budgeted at $1.4 million.
“Another large upcoming project is the culvert and road repairs to Wainiha Powerhouse Road that will commence once Kuhio Highway reopens and the bridges to Haena are open to heavyweight vehicles,” Tamaoka added.
The county has completed 24 projects, with seven still underway that will not reach completion until the state Department of Transportation reopens Kuhio Highway on the North Shore, according to the county.
FEMA played a tremendous role in the recovery and rebuilding process, Tamaoka said.
“We worked closely with FEMA very shortly after the event and have been working together since,” Tamaoka said.
“FEMA provided guidance and support through a team of personnel that were stationed here until recently.”
Prior to the Presidential Disaster Declaration for public and individual assistance, FEMA Region IX Director Administrator Bob Fenton was deployed to Kauai, providing “high-level assistance,” she said.
Ryan Collins, county reporter, can be reached at 245-0424 or firstname.lastname@example.org.