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Reps. Gabbard & Hanabusa Address Destruction on Kaua‘i

April 18, 2018, 10:41 AM HST
* Updated April 18, 1:58 PM
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Reps. Tulsi Gabbard and Colleen Hanabusa spoke on the House floor, recognizing the victims of the severe flooding on Kaua‘i and in East Honolulu, and thanking the first responders and community that have come together in support of those affected.

Reps. Gabbard and Hanabusa have been in touch with Kaua‘i Mayor Bernard Carvalho to offer their support and thanks. The Congresswomen assured Mayor Carvalho that the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other resources are prepared to assist if needed.

For information on the relief efforts, click here.

Congresswoman Gabbard said:

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“Over the last several days the people of Hawai‘i have faced extreme and severe weather, heavily impacting the communities of Waimānalo, East O‘ahu, and most heavily the island of Kaua‘i. Far too many people are living and struggling in chaos as a result of record-breaking rain, flooding and landslides that have completely devastated communities, homes, and businesses, washed out roads and led hundreds of people to have to be evacuated. Many people are struggling without water and electricity. They’re stranded, separated from their children and family members on different parts of the island, and relying on airlifts from the Hawai‘i Army National Guard for basic supplies.

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“Time and again, our Kaua‘i community has come together and proven to be strong, resilient, and mobilized, to support and take care of each other. I want to say a big thank you to Mayor Carvalho, the Hawai‘i National Guard, the Coast Guard, our brave first responders, organizations like the Red Cross, churches, schools and members of our community who have stood up and taken action. Leaders like Joel Guy and Ryan Seabring, Doug Phillips who’s running boats, Laird Hamilton who’s running water rescue, Hanalei and the Takashiro’s who are running their zodiac up and down the Wainiha River, Malama Kaua‘i, Moku Chandler, Laura Richards and so many more. I’m looking forward to being on Kaua‘i tomorrow to offer my support to those who are helping provide relief to those most affected, and our delegation stands ready to help Kaua‘i recover from this disaster.”

Congresswoman Hanabusa said:

“I rise today with my colleague, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, to call attention to the damage done by severe rain and flooding on the island of Kaua‘i and in East O‘ahu. It was an unexpected spring storm, and according to the National Weather Service, the town of Hanalei received more than 27 inches of rain over the weekend. Hanalei is home to my very good friend Sahara Guchis.

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“Thankfully, Mr. Speaker, there are no reports of injuries, and for that we are lucky and grateful. However, the images of mudslides, mangled roadways, and severely damaged homes are heartbreaking. It is encouraging to watch neighbors helping neighbors and strangers coming together to share food, electricity and water.

“Kaua‘i suffered a direct hit from a hurricane and is home to the wettest place on planet Earth, yet their mayor, Bernard Carvalho, who was born and raised on the island, declared the disaster ‘the worst’. On O‘ahu, during a 24 hour rainfall, from 4 p.m. Friday to 4 p.m. Saturday, more rain fell in Niu Valley in one day than in all of April 2017.

“Flooding clogged major highways, filled homes with waste-filled water, and washed debris out to sea. FEMA is working with state and county officials and in prepared to initiate federal assistance the moment the governor asks for it. Mr. Speaker, we ask that all of our colleagues stand with us and to have prayers for the people of Hawai‘i.”

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