Categorized | News, Weather

Iselle: Updates for Aug. 12

This drive shows an impressive clearing of fallen trees on Government Beach Road between Hawaiian Beaches and Kapoho intersection (132). We were told it was the handy work of the Hawaii National Guard. (Video courtesy of Big Island Video News)

Hawaii 24/7 Staff

Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA), formerly State Civil Defense, and the Hawaii National Guard continues to support Hawaii County three days after landfall of Tropical Storm Iselle.

State Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Darryll D. M. Wong, director of Emergency Management, has been on Hawaii Island leading state efforts since Saturday.

Active state missions to assist residents in Puna and other areas of the Big Island include:

· Conducting door-to-door visits to ensure people are safe and have food and water.

· Coordination of damage assessments, particularly in Nanawale Estates.

· Planning for Disaster Assistance and Recovery Centers, one-stop resource centers for area residents, agencies and organizations (locations and times to be announced).

· Support of ice and water distribution, including the procurement and delivery of 32,000 pounds of ice to Hawaii County.

· Assistance with communication restoration or supplementation.

· Coordination of volunteer agencies for clean-up efforts.

In addition, HI-EMA, in coordination with Hawaii County, is evaluating whether the criteria for a federal disaster Declaration has been met. If so, the governor can request supplemental federal assistance once the county completes its formal assistance request.



This is a Community Assistance information update for Monday, August 11 at 6 P.M.

Community Assistance Centers will be open tomorrow, Tuesday morning from noon to 4 P.M. at Community Centers in Hawaiian Shores, Leilani Estates, and Nanawale, as well as the Kalani Retreat Center.

These centers will offer water, ice, and other supplies while they last. Bring a container for ice or water as bags or bottles may not be available. If you are able to get to a retail store to get your supplies, we encourage you to do so and leave these supplies for those who cannot get to a store.

The Pahoa Pool is open for showers and phone charging until midnight, and will reopen at 5:30 A.M. Tuesday. The pool itself will reopen for swimming during regular hours.

The Red Cross shelter at the Pahoa Community Center will remain open Monday night for those displaced by the storm, as well as for cell phone charging. No pets are allowed in the shelter.

Be advised that HELCO crews are working in Puna subdivisions and energizing lines as possible. AT&T reports that limited cellular service has been restored.

Uniformed Hawaii National Guard personnel are patrolling the affected areas in official National Guard vehicles, along with Police and Community Emergency Response Teams to ensure public safety.

The following County parks are still closed due to storm damage: Hilo Trap & Skeet Range, Isaac Hale Beach Park, Ahalanui Park, and Kolekole Beach Park.

All other County parks are open, but exercise caution as storm debris may still be in the area.

Registered voters assigned to the polling places that were cancelled on Saturday, August 9 – Hawaiian Paradise Park Community Center and Keonepoko Elementary School – will have the opportunity to vote on Friday, August 15 from 7 A.M. to 6 P.M. at Keonepoko Elementary School.


Hawaii Electric Light Company has opened a Customer Information Center at the Hawaiian Shores Community Center in Hawaiian Beaches.

The center will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Company representatives will be on hand to answer questions from the public and provide the status of repairing the damage caused by Tropical Storm Iselle.

Customers may bring their electronic devices and get them charged. A charging station will be available at the center.

The center will remain open daily as the restoration process continues.

“We know our customers want to know more about the work that’s being done to recover from this devastating storm. We appreciate their patience and want to assure them we’re working as quickly as possible to restore power,” said Rhea Lee, Hawaii Electric Light spokeswoman.

In addition, Hawaiian Beaches Water Company will be on hand to distribute water for free. Each family may receive up to five gallons of water and must bring their own containers.


Volcano and earthquake monitoring continuing

Intermittent disruptions in eruption updates, webcam imagery, earthquake data, and other information normally available on the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory website could continue for the next few days.

HVO staff worked through the weekend to repair damage to the observatory’s power system that occurred during Tropical Storm Iselle, but complete restoration of the system is not expected until at least Wednesday, Aug. 13.

According to HVO Scientist-in-Charge Jim Kauahikaua, volcanoes on the island continue to be closely monitored.

“Fortunately, Iselle caused no or little damage to our field instruments, so HVO’s monitoring network is functioning normally,” he said, “but power issues within the observatory are impairing our ability to process the data and update our website.”

As of Monday, Aug. 11, Kilauea continued to erupt at its summit and near Puu Oo on the volcano’s East Rift Zone. The level of the summit lava lake within Halemaumau Crater was relatively steady at 35‒40 m (115‒130 ft) below the vent rim.

The active East Rift Zone lava flow, which had reached 7.0 km (4.3 mi) east-northeast of Puu Oo as of Aug. 6, the day before Iselle struck, continued to advance into forest.

HVO geologists plan to map the progress of the lava flow during a scheduled overflight on Tuesday.

Should the scientists observe any significant change in volcanic or seismic activity, HVO will immediately notify Hawaii County Civil Defense and other emergency managers and will keep the public informed through media releases.

“For now, we appreciate your patience when visiting the HVO website. We are working as quickly as possible to fully restore our power system so that the website operates smoothly and without interruption,” Kauahikaua said.

Updates for Hawaii’s active volcanoes and earthquake data for the State of Hawaii are posted on the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory website at You can also call (808) 967-8862 for a Kilauea summary or email questions to


The Hawaii Red Cross Shelter has opened a shelter at the Pahoa Community Center to support the individuals and families impacted by the storm.

Residents needing to stay in the shelter will be provided with meals and a cot to sleep on and will also be able to take a shower and charge their phones at any time of the day.

On Tuesday, Aug. 12, Red Cross volunteers will be distributing meals as well as batteries, water, work gloves, trash bags, and tarps at the following locations and times:

• Pahoa Community Center parking lot – 15-2910 Puna Road, Pahoa (10am-6pm)

• Puna Covenant Church – 16-647 Old Volcano Road, Keaau (10am-1pm)

Big Island Damage Assessment Teams are continuing to visit the hardest hit areas to determine what resources and assistance can be provided.

Snow Factory will be at Solid Rock Ministries (15-2731 Pahoa Village Road, Pahoa) Tuesday, Aug. 12 at noon distributing the following: water, non perishable food, small supply of dog food and cat food while supplies last.

Paradise Park Baptist Church on Kaloli Drive between 23rd and 24th in HPP has showers open to the public 5-7 p.m.
Please bring your own soap and towels.

SNAP Beneficiaries May Request Reimbursement for Food Destroyed

Thousands of Hawaii households remain without electricity in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Iselle this past weekend. Most people affected by power outages reside on the east side of Hawaii Island. Others are scattered across Oahu and Maui County.

The Department of Human Services (DHS) reminds beneficiaries of the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) that beneficiary households may request reimbursement for the actual dollar value of food destroyed by storm related power outages.

The reimbursement cannot exceed the household’s current monthly allotment (HAR 17-681-31).

To qualify for reimbursement, the affected household must have been participating in the SNAP when the disaster occurred, and report the loss to the DHS Benefit, Employment and Support Services Division (BESSD) within 10 business days of the severe weather event.

The deadline to submit reimbursement requests for food spoiled during Tropical Storm Iselle is Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014.

To be considered for the reimbursement, the affected SNAP household must provide the DHS BESSD a signed statement that includes the following information:

1) Name of the storm and dates of impact;

2) General list of food items lost due to storm related power outage;

3) Length of time household power was out of service;

4) Statement that the household is aware of the penalties for the intentional misrepresentation of the facts; and

5) Statement that the household is aware that SNAP replacement allotment will not be issued if the required statement is not signed and returned within 10 days.

BEFORE MAILING OR DROPPING OFF the reimbursement request, SNAP beneficiaries should contact the BESSD Processing Center that maintains their case file for additional instructions. Individuals who don’t know which Processing Center maintains their file may call (808) 586-5720 to inquire.

An estimated 98,000 households currently receive SNAP benefits statewide. There are approximately 25,000 SNAP households on Hawaii Island; 5,000 on Kauai; and 12,000 in Maui County. To learn more about the Hawaii SNAP, visit the DHS website

Bank of Hawaii is initiating three financial assistance programs to help residents in the Big Island and Maui affected by Hurricane Iselle.

The programs will provide access to cash through special loan programs, or relief on existing Bank of Hawaii loans through loan extensions or forbearances. Special program features include low interest rates on loans, loans with no payments for the first three months, fast approval and quick funding, reduced payments with loan terms up to 60 months and loan amounts up to $25,000.

Depending on the loan program, funds can be used to provide cash relief for emergency supplies and living essentials; repair homes, vehicles, or both, replacement of living essentials or to boost working capital needs; or receive forbearance or an extension on existing loans.

“Although the majority of the state escaped the brunt of the storm, many residents on the Big Island and Maui are still dealing with the aftermath,” said Peter Ho, chairman, CEO and president of Bank of Hawaii, in a statement. “These financial emergency relief programs are designed for quick approval to allow people to recover as swiftly as possible. We want to help people restore normalcy in their lives and we have loan officers ready to work with individuals to assess their needs.”

Bank of Hawaii branches in the impacted areas are in Pahoa and Waiakea on the Big Island and Pukalani on Maui. Interested customers can call Bank of Hawaii’s customer service center on Oahu at 1-888-643-3888.

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