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FEMA denies request for disaster declaration for Tropical Storm Iselle damage

A home in Hawaiian Paradise Park damaged from a fallen tree during Tropical Storm Iselle. Hawaii 24/7 File Photo

A home in Hawaiian Paradise Park damaged from a fallen tree during Tropical Storm Iselle. Hawaii 24/7 File Photo

MEDIA RELEASE

HONOLULU – The State of Hawaii’s request for a major disaster declaration due to Tropical Storm Iselle was denied today by Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator W. Craig Fugate. The request sought Individual Assistance for individuals and households affected by the tropical storm in early August and Hazard Mitigation funds for use in statewide projects.

Administrator Fugate’s denial letter states: “it has been determined that the damage from this event was not of such severity and magnitude to be beyond the capabilities of the state, affected local governments, and voluntary agencies.” The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA), formerly known as State Civil Defense, continues to work with federal and county officials on an application for assistance to rebuild public infrastructure.

People still in need of assistance following Iselle should call Hawaii County at (808) 935-0031 or the volunteer request line at (808) 936-2268.

The American Red Cross and the Hawaii State Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters continues to take donations to help those affected by Iselle. Donations can be made through the following channels:

American Red Cross (Hawaii Chapter)
Phone: (808) 734-2101
www.redcross.org/hi/honolulu

Hawaii State Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters
Hurricane Iselle Long-Term Relief and Recovery Fund
Iselle donations may be dropped off at any American Savings Bank.
hivoad.communityos.org/cms/con…

Gabbard Disappointed by Denial of Presidential Disaster Declaration for Puna

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) has released the following statement on the denial of a Presidential Disaster Declaration for Hurricane Iselle recovery:

“I am deeply disappointed that the Federal Emergency Management Agency decided to deny Governor Abercrombie’s request for a Presidential Disaster Declaration, which would have helped so many families in Puna who are still recovering from Hurricane Iselle. It was clear to me during my visit in Puna that assistance is absolutely necessary. While this denial is a setback, it should not discourage us from seeking all other options for assisting our friends and neighbors in Puna. I will continue to work to identify the immediate next steps and pursue alternate forms of assistance, as well as work toward a long-term approach to confront the invasive albizia tree that contributed to much of the damage in Puna.

“In the wake of this disaster, I have been inspired by the dedicated efforts of all those who came together to help the Puna community recover and heal—from the utility workers who worked tirelessly to restore power and water, to the many volunteers who provided food, ice, and other donations. I remain committed to a full recovery in Puna.”

Hawai’i County Mayor Billy Kenoi issued the following statement in response to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s denial of the state’s request for individual assistance:

“We are very disappointed in FEMA’s decision to deny the state’s request for individual assistance for the victims of Tropical Storm Iselle. Our residents and families suffered destroyed homes, property losses and many other impacts from this historic storm. For many people, their lives have still not returned to normal, and the federal government must help our communities. We strongly urge Governor Abercrombie to appeal the FEMA decision directly to President Obama. We hope the president will recognize that the residents of Puna need his help, and deserve all the support and assistance that we can give them.”

Abercrombie, Kenoi Preparing Appeal

Gov. Neil Abercrombie and Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi issued a joint statement in response to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s decision to deny the state’s request for “Individual Assistance” for the victims of Tropical Storm Iselle:

“The state and the County of Hawaii are working together to gather sufficient additional information, including socio-economic data, to justify a successful appeal.

“In the meantime, county, state and other federal agencies, as well as nonprofit organizations, are providing support under their own authorities. The state also remains eligible for a declaration from the U.S. Small Business Administration, which will enable qualified individuals and businesses to receive low-interest loans for repairs.”

One Response to “FEMA denies request for disaster declaration for Tropical Storm Iselle damage”

  1. Chris Gonsalves says:

    My garage got smashed so badly that a 18″ branch punched through the roof and smashed my only working vehicle (Toyota truck), as well as my ’98 beetle, which already needed some repairs(fuel injector pump). It smashed my solar panels, my tool shed, and much of my agriculture(food!). There is no way for me to come up with the money to fix all this, especially given no vehicle.
    There is real need here for aid! I am just one of many!

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