Washington, DC – Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) Wednesday (Nov 19) honored Hawai‘i County leaders Mayor Billy Kenoi and Civil Defense Director Darryl Oliveira for their tireless work in response to the June 27th lava flow in Puna. She has remained in close contact with the two leaders throughout the preparation and response process, and will be questioning Director Oliveira today in a livestreamed hearing of the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources.
“I want to take this opportunity to highlight two courageous leaders who’ve been the heart of a very strong, resilient community who face an uncertain future as the Kilauea lava flow continues slowly and steadily toward their homes, their businesses and their community,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard on the floor of the House of Representatives. “Hawai‘i County Mayor Billy Kenoi and Hawai‘i County Civil Defense Director Chief Darryl Oliveira have shown incredible leadership not only in response to this, but also in response to Hurricane Iselle and Tropical Storm Ana, and now for nearly five months, managing this slowly creeping lava flow threatening Pahoa.
“All three of these natural disasters have been punishing on this community of Puna, whose residents continue to unite and show optimism even with this uncertain future. Billy and Darryl’s tireless work and strong leadership has kept people safe, informed and prepared, even as Mother Nature, through Madam Pele, runs her course. Mahalo to Mayor Kenoi and Chief Oliveira! We stand ready as your partners to support the community we both serve, and we are grateful for your unwavering commitment to them.”
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Thanks, Honors Hawaii County Leaders for Lava Flow Response
Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard attended a House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources hearing Wednesday (Nov 19) on volcano preparation and response. Congresswoman Gabbard was a visiting guest member at the subcommittee’s hearing due to the urgent and Hawai‘i-specific nature of the discussion. Gordon Ito, Hawai‘i State Insurance Commissioner testified in person, and Administrator Darryl Oliveira of Hawai‘i County Civil Defense testifed by video-conference.
Congresswoman Gabbard has visited the Puna area several times since the June 27th lava flow began, meeting with local residents, small business owners, and officials, assessing preparedness, property and infrastructure damage, and volunteered for state active duty with the Hawai‘i Army National Guard in Pahoa.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Questions Volcano Preparedness & Response Leaders