Residential re-entry process to begin in disaster area
News Release from County of Maui, Sept 20, 2023
A multi-agency task force responsible for the coordination of re-entry procedures for residents to access properties located in the restricted disaster area has identified the first zone that has completed comprehensive reviews required before re-entry could be authorized. Kaniau Road in Zone 1C will be the first area to be cleared for re-entry next week; a separate press release with details on this re-entry will be distributed tonight.
“The process to clear each zone for re-entry is a complex one to ensure we do all we can to maximize public safety and well-being as residents access a disaster area that contains hazardous conditions,” said Darryl Oliveira, interim administrator for the County of Maui Emergency Management Agency.
“The re-entry process is designed for those who have a need to return to their properties and homes, and out of respect for all they have suffered, residents in the re-opened zone will be granted first access to their property with a high level of support during the first two days of re-entry including water, shade, washing stations, portable toilets, medical and mental health care, MauiBus transportation from local hotel shelters and language assistance,” Oliveira said.
With 17 primary zones and 83 sub-zones established for the 2,170 acres in the five-mile Lahaina impact area, a systemized process of safety reviews must be completed before re-entry access for residential areas is established. The process includes reviews and authorization by County, State and Federal agencies and utilities.
Parcels released for re-entry undergo inspections by the Environmental Protection Agency for hazardous materials, the County of Maui Highways division for road access safety, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for structural safety, the County of Maui Department of Water Supply for water quality and sewer function that meets safety standards, and safety inspections of electric and gas lines by Hawaiian Electric and Hawaii Gas. Re-entry plans will be subject to weather conditions and may be adjusted or changed should conditions warrant.
As zones are deemed ready for re-entry by property owners and residents, announcements with the identified zone information will be issued on the County’s recovery website, www.mauirecovers.org, as well as through news releases.
To gain access to a re-opened zone, county-issued vehicle passes will be required. Two vehicle passes will be available to property owners and two vehicle passes will be available per rental dwelling. Once a zone is announced for re-entry, property owners and tenants in that zone only can apply in person to verify their ownership or occupancy and pick up their vehicle passes; the intake site for vehicle passes is currently located at Lahaina Civic Center. At that time, optional personal protective equipment will be distributed. Owners and residents with passes may bring in their vehicles anyone they choose.
“As we make our way through the tragedy of the disaster, this managed re-entry process will give residents a chance to have some closure,” said Mayor Richard Bissen. “We know how much this means to those affected and I’m grateful that agencies from the County, State and Federal levels- as well as numerous nonprofit groups- have worked nonstop to be able to reach this significant stage.”
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