Saturday, December 4, 2004

UH to outline
flood recovery

Lawmakers could get
a total damage figure
with the cost tally

U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye and state lawmakers will be briefed Monday morning on flood damage and recovery efforts at the University of Hawaii-Manoa.

UH President David McClain and state Civil Defense officials will present an overview of the Oct. 30 flood and restoration efforts.

Yesterday was the deadline for insurance claims to be filed, and an estimate of the flood damage costs could be available next week.

McClain has said damage could exceed the state's $25 million insurance ceiling, and additional money might be needed from the state legislature.

About $1 million in emergency relief funds to assist scholars and researchers during the flood recovery has already been given out.

The Short-term Assistance for Research and Training initiative has distributed funds to 36 principal investigators and their faculty collaborators in the College of Natural Sciences, John A. Burns School of Medicine, College of Arts and Humanities, Library Services, and College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources.

"We felt it was important to help meet critical emergency needs in the first few days and weeks after October's floods," UH-Manoa Chancellor Peter Englert said in a news release. "We set aside money from the Research and Training Revolving Fund that can be used for these purposes. Once our faculty are back on track and their projects are on a more stable footing, we expect that the funds will be replenished through the insurance claims process that is now under way."

Allocations range from a high of $100,000 to researcher Dr. Rebecca Cann at the UH Medical School to a low of $2,338 to David Bruner at Hamilton Library.

Cann and fellow researchers David Haymer and Leonard Freed received funding to rebuild, re-equip and resupply their laboratory in the Biomedical Sciences Building where the team studies the genetics of native Hawaiian organisms, particularly the endangered Hawaiian honeycreeper. Bruner sent 13 computer hard drives to Super Geeks for cleanup and data recovery.

Other funds distributed this week cover computer replacement and repair; software replacement and backup power supplies for computers and scientific instruments; replacement or preservation of research specimens and chemical reagents; purchase or rental of refrigeration, air conditioning and air purification equipment; expenses for relocating offices and laboratories; and purchase and replacement of basic office equipment and supplies.

The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research is continuing to receive and review requests for emergency funds and will determine if additional resources should be made available.

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