New Federal Disaster Relief Funds Coming to Hawai‘i
The U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation on Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018, to boost relief funding to help communities recover from major disasters across the country, including Hurricane Lane and the ongoing volcanic eruptions on Hawai‘i Island.
The $1.7 billion in Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery funding will help state and local governments rebuild impacted communities, especially in low- and moderate-income areas, and provide resources to help businesses recover. The legislation is expected to easily pass the Senate. U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, has begun working with federal agencies and state and county officials to ensure Hawai‘i puts forward a strong application to receive the maximum amount of eligible funding.
“There is a long road ahead to recovery for the state, which has been hit by historic flooding, hurricanes, and volcanoes in a matter of a few months,” said Sen. Schatz. “These block grants will help, but they are not our sole chance at additional federal funding. So I want to be clear that this is a down payment. And I will continue to fight for federal resources at every opportunity to help Hawai‘i move forward.”
To date, Hawai‘i has received more than $120 million in federal relief funding including, $64 million for the flooding on Kaua‘i and O‘ahu and more than $56 million to help Hawai‘i Island recover from the Kīlauea eruptions.