FEDERAL AGRICULTURE DISASTER DECLARATION FOR MAUI COUNTY DROUGHT
News Release from Hawaii DoA, Mar 9, 2021
HONOLULU – The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Thomas J. Vilsack, has approved Gov. David Ige’s request for a Secretarial Agricultural Disaster Designation for the drought emergency in Maui County.
Gov. Ige requested the federal disaster declaration due to the prolonged drought conditions in the county which began in March 2019. In January, Gov. Ige issued an emergency proclamation declaring a drought disaster in Maui County after ranchers and farmers suffered significant economic losses, including damage caused by large numbers of axis deer migrating into agricultural and developed areas seeking food and water.
“While the county has been dealing with heavy rain this week, that does not cure the damage caused by the prolonged drought,” said Gov. Ige. “The federal drought disaster declaration will allow our farmers and ranchers access to federal aid programs and assist them in recovery efforts.”
“The Hawai`i Department of Agriculture is currently reviewing about 60 applications for state grants to assist agricultural operations that have suffered damage caused by axis deer populations intensified by drought in the county,” said Phyllis Shimabukuro-Geiser, chairperson of the Hawaii Board of Agriculture.
The secretarial disaster designation makes agricultural operations in the county eligible for consideration for certain assistance, including emergency loans, from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency.
* * * * *
GOVERNOR IGE DECLARES STATE OF EMERGENCY FOR STATE OF HAWAI‘I AS HEAVY RAINS PUMMEL THE ISLANDS
News Release from Office of the Governor, Mar 9, 2021
HONOLULU – Gov. David Ige signed an emergency declaration for the entire State of Hawai‘i as heavy rains are causing flooding, landslides and fear of dam failure, prompting evacuations in at least two counties.
In Maui County, heavy rains completely washed out the Peahi Bridge on Peahi Road, and displaced the Kaupakalua Bridge on Kaupakalua Road, making the roads impassable. There is also damage to other roads and bridges on the Valley Isle.
Across the state, saturated ground conditions and increased water levels in reservoirs have increased the risk of erosion, seepage, piping and fear of dam failure.
The emergency declaration covers the counties of Hawai‘i, Maui, Kalawao, O‘ahu and Kaua‘i. It gives the governor the authority to spend state funds as appropriated to protect the health, safety and welfare of residents and visitors in the State of Hawai‘i. The declaration supports the state’s efforts to provide quick and efficient relief of suffering, damage, and losses caused by flooding and other effects of the heavy rains.
The disaster emergency relief period continues through May 8, 2021.