Governor Signs Request for Presidential Disaster Declaration

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Gov. David Ige has asked President Donald Trump to declare a major disaster for the State of Hawai‘i as a result of severe flooding and landslides on Kaua‘i and O‘ahu between April 13 and April 16, 2018.

Gov. Ige signed the Request for a Presidential Disaster Declaration on Wednesday, May 3, shortly after the Joint Preliminary Assessment was delivered to his office. Gov. Ige is asking for assistance from the Public Assistance Grant Program, the Individual Assistance Program, and the Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Assistance program for the two counties. The governor also requested assistance from the Hazard Mitigation Grant program statewide.

“This disaster is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the state and affected county governments. Federal assistance is necessary,” said Gov. Ige.


The county, state, Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the SBA performed a Joint Preliminary Damage Assessment for public assistance, and found the floods caused more than $19.7 million in damage.

The preliminary assessment does not include highway and roadway damage. The state is seeking reimbursement for highway recovery efforts through the Federal Highway Administration’s Emergency Relief program.

Again, the assessment is preliminary, and state, county and federal agencies expect more damage to be identified. However, Gov. Ige has requested the presidential declaration because the damage assessed so far, already meets the public assistance thresholds in each county.


This assessment was required before Gov. Ige could sign and submit the Request for Presidential Disaster Declaration.  The assessment also includes:

Rainfall totals for 48-hour period ending 6pm Apr. 15:

  • Wainiha – 32.35 inches
  • Hanalei  — 28.41 inches
  • Mt. Waialeale – 22.34 inches
  • More than 475 people evacuated via helicopter (undetermined number of people evacuated by boat)
  • More than 350 homes damaged (unknown number of businesses impacted)

U.S. Army helicopter crews delivered about 43,000 pounds of food, water and clothing to distressed areas between Apr. 16-17



Rainfall total for 48-hour period ending 6pm Apr. 15:

  • The Mānoa Lyon Arboretum — 11.96 inches
  • 900 tons of debris from roads and private properties
  • More than 280 homes damaged
  • About 180 families received services at Disaster Recovery Centers

Kaua‘i Mayor Bernard Carvalho proclaimed an emergency for the Garden Island on April 14, appropriately followed by the governor’s state emergency proclamation on April 15. Mayor Kirk Caldwell proclaimed an emergency for the City and County of Honolulu on April 18. The governor promptly issued a supplementary proclamation the same day, expanding the original proclamation to include the City and County of Honolulu.

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