Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle announced this week that President George W. Bush has declared a major disaster for the City and County of Honolulu, triggering the release of federal funds to help communities in Manoa and other parts of O’ahu recover from the severe storms and flash flooding that occurred on Oct. 30, 2004. The federal assistance is welcome news for the University of Hawai’i, where 32 facilities on the Manoa campus were damaged by flooding.
“We appreciate President Bush’s ongoing assistance for our state and his recognition of the severity and magnitude of the damage caused by the rain and flooding last fall,” said the Governor, who made the request to the President on Dec. 30, and followed up with phone calls to the Bush Administration and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials. “The federal dollars that will be made available through FEMA will help relieve the financial burden to the state, especially for the cleanup and repairs on the University of Hawai’i campus.”
Based on the declaration, the state and county and certain private nonprofit organizations can apply for reimbursement of eligible costs. FEMA reimbursement covers emergency response costs, emergency protective measures, debris removal and the repair or replacement of damaged public facilities.
Hawai’i State Civil Defense will administer FEMA’s Public Assistance program that provides grants on a 75 to 25 percent cost-sharing basis. The 25 percent is shared between the State of Hawai’i and local agencies.
“The Presidential disaster declaration provides federal funds that will assist the University of Hawai’i in its recovery and help the state and City and County of Honolulu resolve flood mitigation issues,” added Vice Director of Civil Defense Edward Teixeira.
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