Gov. Ige Visits Evacuated Residents on Big Island
Gov. David Ige traveled to Hawai‘i Island on Friday for briefings with Mayor Harry Kim and the Hawai‘i County Civil Defense, and to check on evacuated residents from the Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens subdivisions.
The governor joined Big Island Mayor Harry Kim and the Hawaii County Civil Defense for an early morning briefing at the county’s Emergency Operations Center. The briefing was followed by a video teleconference with all counties to discuss emergency management activities across the state.
Gov. Ige visited two evacuation shelters – the Pāhoa Regional Community Center and the Kea‘au Community Center where he spoke to residents who were ordered to evacuate their homes.
“I met many people who are frightened and deeply concerned about losing everything they’ve worked for all their lives,” Gov. Ige said. “I’ve heard from people who have already lost their home. My heart goes out to these families. I reassured them that the county, state and the federal governments are working together to do everything in our power to help them get through this, to ensure their welfare and safety, and to assure them that we are here for the long haul. This is a resilient community. Even during this frightening and unpredictable time — these residents are pulling together, donating food, water and time to care for their neighbors.”
In addition, the governor visited the Pāhoa Fire Department to offer his support to first responders, the American Red Cross in Kea‘au and several businesses in the Pāhoa Marketplace.
On Thursday, Gov. Ige issued an emergency proclamation for Hawai‘i County, authorizing the expenditure of state monies as appropriated for quick and efficient relief following the volcanic eruption.
The governor has also activated the Hawai‘i National Guard. About 70 soldiers and airmen are on Hawai‘i Island assisting Hawai‘i County with evacuations, neighborhood security and monitoring of dangerous sulfur dioxide gas.