News Release: Damage Assessment Begins as Storm Moves West; Be Sure to Document Losses, Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency Urges

Posted on Dec 8, 2021 in Information and News Releases, Main, News Stories

Damage Assessment Begins as Storm Moves West; Be Sure to Document Losses, Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency Urges

HONOLULU – State and county teams began assessing damage Wednesday from the “Kona Low” weather system which set new rainfall records across the state this week, with aerial reconnaissance to identify wind and flooding damage on Maui.

The Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA) worked with the Maui Emergency Management Agency and the local chapter of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) to assess damage, flying a sortie from Kahului Airport in a single-engine fixed wing aircraft. The CAP took aerial photographs of several damaged areas of Maui, including the Kihei area, but was unable to photograph the Kula region because of cloud cover. Another flight is expected to assess that area Thursday, weather permitting.

The slow-moving weather system dumped more than 20 inches of rain on areas of Hawaii, at as much as 3 inches an hour. It caused widespread flooding, power outages, landslides, and damage. While some lingering power outages are still being fixed, HI-EMA urges those who can safely access damaged property to quickly document the damage and contact your insurance company as soon as possible.

County and state emergency managers also plan to send out damage assessment teams in the coming days to document the storm damage. “As we move into the recovery from this storm, it’s important to document the damage it caused to your home, business or personal property,” said Luke Meyers, Administrator of HI-EMA.

For insurance purposes, take video or photographs of flood damage before cleaning up. Photos and other documentation will be needed if funding becomes available to assist with recovery from the storm.

After documenting any damages, you should begin cleanup immediately; you need not wait for a flood     insurance adjuster or inspector to come to your home.

  • Make sure the electricity and gas are shut off to avoid fire or harm.
  • Wear heavy boots, gloves, and goggles during Your home may be contaminated with mold or sewage.
  • Be aware of hidden structural Floodwater may have weakened roads and building foundations.
  • Avoid wading in floodwater which may be hiding debris, contaminated with sewage, or electrically
  • Prevent carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Use generators, pressure washers, or other gasoline- powered machinery outdoors at least 20 feet from doors, windows, or

Each County has online tools to report residential and business damage. These forms are used only to collect information that will help local officials understand the damage that occurred and impacts on the community. Those tools can be found here.

Additionally, a statewide Crisis Cleanup line has been activated for those impacted by flooding from the recent storm. If you need volunteers to help with cleanup or debris removal, please dial 2-1-1 and request cleanup assistance.

As this severe weather illustrates, disasters can strike at any time. Please take the time to know your hazards, develop a plan, create a ‘Go Kit’ for your ʻohana, and sign up for free  County alerts.

You may also stay informed with up-to-date information on all hazards across the state by scanning this code for our Know Your Hazards mapping system:

For more information visit


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Adam Weintraub

Communications Director

Hawai`i Emergency Management Agency 3949 Diamond Head Rd. Honolulu, HI

[email protected]