Hurricane Tracker

Gov. Ige Requests Presidential Disaster Declaration

August 22, 2018, 4:11 PM HST
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Gov. Ige declares an emergency ahead fo Hurricane Lane. Courtesy photo.

Gov. David Ige formally requested a Presidential Disaster Declaration as Hurricane Lane inches toward the Hawaiian Islands on Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2018.

The declaration asks the president of the United States to declare the State of Hawai‘i a major disaster in the event that there is significant damage and losses as a result of the hurricane.

The governor held a briefing at his state capitol offices today, to warn residents and visitors that hurricane conditions are unpredictable and to urge people to take every precaution to protect their health and safety.

“We are expecting large amounts of rain, flooding, and high winds,” said Gov. Ige. “There will be significant impacts even if the hurricane doesn’t hit us directly. FEMA, county and state emergency teams are in place and prepared, so remain calm and keep updated on the storm. Families should be prepared to shelter in place and have 14 days of food, water and supplies.”

Hawai‘i’s Congressional Delegation urged President Donald Trump to act swiftly on the governor’s request for a presidential disaster declaration.

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“Hurricane Lane has the capacity to wreak terrible damage across the entire state,” the delegation wrote. “The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s forecast brings this tropical cyclone within 100 miles of each of the main Hawaiian Islands. This track exposes much of the state to destructive winds, flood, and surf, potentially causing widespread power outages, protracted damage to infrastructure, and major disruptions to critical the transportation network and supply chain. We hope that you will approve the governor’s current request for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide critical assistance as Hurricane Lane rakes our state’s southern coasts.”

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Full text of the letter follows:

Dear Mr. President:

We write in strong support of Hawai‘i Governor Ige’s letter requesting an emergency declaration for the State of Hawai‘i in anticipation of the significant impacts from powerful, slow-moving Hurricane Lane. We are grateful for your quick action on the Governor’s prior requests this year, and we respectfully request your continued support as we face natural disaster a third time.

Hurricane Lane has the capacity to wreak terrible damage across the entire state. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s forecast brings this tropical cyclone within 100 miles of each of the main Hawaiian Islands. This track exposes much of the state to destructive winds, flood, and surf, potentially causing widespread power outages, protracted damage to infrastructure, and major disruptions to critical the transportation network and supply chain.

As the Governor mentioned in his request, our State is still recovering from two prior disasters this year: DR-4365, “Hawai‘i Severe Storms, Flooding, Landslides, and Mudslides,” and DR-4366, “Kīlauea Volcanic Eruption and Earthquakes.” The damage from these incidents was severe, and has stretched resources thin—and it has left our communities all the more vulnerable to further harm from the imminent threat of Hurricane Lane.

Your prompt attention to Kīlauea and the earlier catastrophic flooding made a real difference for the impacted communities and businesses. In that spirit, we hope that you will approve the Governor’s current request for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide critical assistance as Hurricane Lane rakes our state’s southern coasts.

Thank you for your consideration.

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