News Release: Damage Assessments Begin for ‘Kona low’ Storm Impact; Multi-Agency Teams Evaluated Maui Property Damage on Monday

Posted on Dec 27, 2021 in Information and News Releases, Main, News Stories

Damage Assessments Begin for ‘Kona low’ Storm Impact; Multi-Agency Teams
Evaluated Maui Property Damage on Monday

For Immediate Release
Dec. 20, 2021

HONOLULU – Teams of state, county, and federal workers got an in-person look Monday at damages caused by the “Kona low” weather system which dumped more than 20 inches of rain on areas of Hawaiʻi early in December.


The teams began their work in Maui County, touring sites to document and assess the extent of damage to public property. Teams organized by the Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency were scheduled to inspect at least seven sites on Maui on Monday, including damage to the Pi’ilani Highway and the Kula State Forest Reserve.


These preliminary assessments help state, county, and federal leaders determine if the storm caused enough damage to meet the requirements for a federal disaster declaration. If approved, a declaration could potentially unlock government assistance to public or private property owners/operators in the form of grants or loans. Future inspections will assess damage to private property.


The process takes time and government financial assistance may not become available. Data collection and review of public and private property will continue in the weeks ahead.


“As recovery efforts from this storm continue, we urge residents to be patient and to help each other while we work as quickly as possible to complete the assessment process,” said Luke Meyers, Administrator of HI-EMA.


HI-EMA encourages residents to document their damage with photos/video and contact their insurance agency if they haven’t already done so.


Additionally, 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; they are not applications for assistance. Those tools can be found here.


Assessments are expected to continue in Maui County and begin in the City and County of Honolulu this week, with assessments in Hawaiʻi County still to be determined.


This most recent severe weather is a reminder that disasters can strike at any time, Meyers said, adding that it is vital to know your hazards and be prepared.


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]