East Hawaii News

Scheduled Lava Meeting Postponed by County

April 2, 2015, 10:16 AM HST
* Updated April 2, 10:22 AM
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Hawai’i County has postponed its June 27 lava flow community meeting that was scheduled for Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at the Pahoa High School cafeteria.

In an e-mail, Hawai’i County Civil Defense Administrator Darryl Oliveira explained that the postponement follows the realization that additional time may be necessary to discuss and come to final conclusions about situations pertaining to the lava flow threat, including the federal reimbursement program.

“The County and our partner agencies are meeting with FEMA this morning to discuss the closing of the lava flow incident and there will be many questions asked as to what the implications may be with regards to the various projects and expenses incurred in response to the lava flow threat,” Oliveira said.

Oliveira continued to explain that conclusive information gathered from the meeting with FEMA is important to share with the community, such as information about the federal reimbursement program, who it will apply to, and how projects and costs will be affected.

Since the goal is to share conclusive information, Oliveira noted that FEMA may need more time to discuss some of the questions raised at the meeting internally.

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“It would be prudent to obtain the final answers and outcomes and share that information at the community meeting,” Oliveira said. “Therefore the meeting will be postponed pending the final outcome of the public assistance program application review and approvals.”

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The County scheduled the Thursday evening community meeting on March 31. The meeting was to follow the March 25 Hawaiian Volcano Observatory downgrade of the June 27 lava flow alert level from a Warning to a Watch and Civil Defense’s discontinuation of daily overflight assessments and updates of the flow.

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