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Post Lane Recovery Begins on Hawaii Island

Ken Lund

It’s been a little more than a week since Hurricane Lane passed by Hawaii. The storm brought torrential rains to some parts of the state—especially certain areas of Hawaii Island. The Kona districts were fairly unscathed, while districts from South Kohala through Ka’u were hit hard--especially in East Hawaii. The recovery has begun, but it’s moving in stages.

Hawai'i County Managing Director Wil Okabe is taking a lead role in helping the Big Island move to recovery.

Okabe:   “Right now we’re having teams from County, FEMA,  Department of Health,  CERT Teams going around the island to make an assessment. We don’t really have an exact dollar amount, but it’s going to be quite a bit.  When the assessments start to come in we’ll get a better idea.”

During Hurricane Lane, there were times when almost all the island’s major roads and many secondary roads were closed. 

Okabe: “Major landslides, major flooding, a lot of rocks. That’s gonna be our number one priority, to get county roads in repair.  Also State Transportation, they need to get those major roads in repair as well.   There’s a lot of trees in the ocean, a lot of the culverts were plugged, so we’re gonna start to clean them up.   You know, I’ve been getting a lot of calls in regard to private roads.  The county doesn’t have the resources to address all the many private roads in subdivisions.”

Okabe says the Big Island was lucky—-people prepared, and nobody died or was seriously hurt.   Okabe says it’s important for anybody who sustained damage from Hurricane Lane’s rain or wind to call Hawai'i County Civil Defense right away at 935-0031 to get a damage assessment.  He also reminds everybody to make sure to be prepared for the next hurricane.

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