News Release: Major Disaster Declaration for ‘Kona Low” Storm Damage Makes Federal Funds Available for Repairs, Mitigation MeasuresPosted on Feb 15, 2022 in 2021 Severe Weather/Flooding Events, Declared Disasters, Information and News Releases, News Stories
Major Disaster Declaration for ‘Kona Low” Storm Damage Makes
Federal Funds Available for Repairs, Mitigation Measures
For Immediate Release: Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022 Release No. 2022-010
HONOLULU — The U.S. President on Tuesday declared a major disaster related to the record-breaking ‘Kona low’ storms of December 2021, opening a new source of assistance to help communities in Hawai‘i recover from wind, flooding, and landslide damage in Maui County and the City and County of Honolulu.
The declaration also makes federal funding available for mitigation measures to prevent or lessen future damage across the State of Hawai‘i.
The Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA) worked with our county partners and the federal government to document and justify assistance after Gov. David Y. Ige declared an emergency related to the incident. President Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Feb. 15 granted the Major Disaster Declaration, covering severe storms, flooding, and landslides from Dec. 5-10, 2021.
“These intense storms caused significant impacts across Hawai‘i, but the damage was particularly severe in portions of O‘ahu and Maui,” said Luke Meyers, administrator of HI-EMA. “I’m gratified that our work with our county partners and the Federal Emergency Management Agency made it clear that this assistance was needed.”
The storms were generated by a powerful, spinning low-pressure system that swept bands of heavy rain across the state for days. The storms caused record rainfall, washed out roads, flooded electrical equipment causing widespread power outages, and caused landslides that affected both public and private property.
The declaration, designated DR-4639, covers Public Assistance for emergency work and repair or replacement of disaster-damaged infrastructure and facilities in the City and County of Honolulu and in Maui County, including Moloka‘i and Lana‘i. Governments and private nonprofits may apply, and eligible projects include debris removal and road and bridge work.
It also authorized Hazard Mitigation Grant Program assistance throughout Hawai‘i for work to reduce or prevent the future risk to life and property from hazards.
Separately, the U.S. Small Business Administration had already approved a disaster declaration for the Kona low storms, making low-interest loans available to individuals and businesses in Maui County and the City and County of Honolulu.