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US Rep. Kahele Joins Maui Mayor in Site Visit of Ha‘ikū Flood Areas

Mayor Michael Victorino led an inspection of Haʻikū flood areas with US Representative Kaialiʻi “Kai” Kahele to understand the magnitude of the disaster, assess the damage and speak with residents affected by the flooding. 

They toured the Kaupakalua Dam and spoke with Mahi Pono water resources manager Mark Vaught.  Vaught demonstrated the multi-pump system preventing reservoir water levels from over-topping after consecutive days of rain since the March 8 flood. They also visited the site of the washed-out Peʻahi Bridge and observed floodwaters still rushing in the river below.

The two visited Haʻikū resident Mark Alexander whose property was nearly washed away in the flood. (3.18.21) PC: County of Maui / Shane Tegarden

Victorino and Kahele also visited Haʻikū resident Mark Alexander whose property was nearly washed away in the flood. Alexander praised the outpouring of assistance from the Maui community after receiving donated money, food and help with flood cleanup from an army of volunteers.

Kaupakalua Dam multi-pump system. (3.18.21) PC: County of Maui / Shane Tegarden

Rep. Kahele said the health and safety of residents is a top priority. “Today I joined Mayor Victorino to assess bridges and roads that have been severely compromised by mud and debris. Those hardest hit by recent torrential rains need assistance now. This is when government – federal, state, and local governments — must do everything possible to help our people.” 

“It was important for Congressman Kahele to see the area with his own eyes,” said Mayor Victorino. “It’s hard to understand the severity of the flooding and magnitude of damage until you visit the place and talk with the farmers, homeowners and families that were affected. His assessment will be important to FEMA officials when considering relief measures for our community.”

Mayor Victorino (right), U.S. Rep. Kahele (left) inspect Haʻikū flood areas. They are joined by Mahi Pono water resources manager Mark Vaught (middle). (3.18.21) PC: County of Maui / Shane Tegarden

“Earlier this month, I co-signed a letter with US Senators Brian Schatz and Mazie K. Hirono and US Representative Ed Case to call on President Biden to expedite emergency funding to help all Hawaiʻi communities to recover from this natural disaster as soon as possible,” said Kahele as he thanked the county, Mayor, state, and FEMA for their support.

County officials remind the public that government agencies rely on damage assessments to determine levels of relief funding. To report damage, affected residents can call the Maui Emergency Management Agency at (808) 270-7285, or submit a damage report online by visiting www.mauicounty.gov, and scrolling to “Report Storm Related Damage.”

Original source: https://mauinow.com/2021/03/19/us-rep-kahele-joins-maui-mayor-in-site-visit-of-haiku-flood-areas/

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