Friday, December 31, 2004

Lingle seeks
flood aid for UH

Gov. Linda Lingle is asking President Bush for a federal disaster declaration that would make the state eligible for federal money to help repair damage from the Oct. 30 Manoa flood.

Damage from the flood is estimated at $82 million and still rising, state Civil Defense Vice Director Edward Teixeira said yesterday.

The governor signed the request at 3 p.m. yesterday, and it was faxed to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Teixeira said the state should learn within weeks whether the president will declare a major disaster in Manoa.

"If we can get federal assistance, it might mean we can get on our feet a lot faster," he said.

Teixeira said FEMA will cover up to 75 percent of eligible costs for the cleanup of flood damage and rebuilding.

The cost of the state and county cleanup effort and damage to roads and other government property is estimated at $912,000, and damage to more than 200 homes and businesses is about $5 million.

UH's insurance policy has a $25 million ceiling, so damage above that amount must be picked up by the state or federal government.

Teixeira explained that federal aid comes with the condition that buildings repaired with the federal money must be fully insured. The state and the University of Hawaii are still trying to figure out if the cost of the insurance will be more than the cost of fixing the buildings.

But he said even with the federal disaster declaration, there are still options available for the university such as not using federal money for certain buildings.

The last time the state sought federal help after a disaster was in November 2000 after major flooding in Hilo caused millions of dollars in damage.

Office of the Governor
University of Hawaii

E-mail to City Desk


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