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Abercrombie tours areas damaged by tsunami

KAILUA-KONA >> Gov. Neil Abercrombie is assessing damage today on the Big Island and Maui inflicted by last week’s tsunami, including problems on a cruise ship dock.

The governor told people in Kailua-Kona he would do everything he can to get help for repairs. The damage wasn’t as bad as he thought it would be, Abercrombie added.

One of the major concerns in the West Hawaii town is that the asphalt on the cruise ship dock is uneven and might not be able to sustain the weight of tour buses carrying cruise ship passengers.

A structural engineer was examining the pier it to see if it was sound and determine what kind of repairs were needed so cruise ships can return.

Norwegian Cruise Lines canceled plans for its Pride of America to dock in Kailua-Kona next week.

At the historic Hulihee Palace, workers were airing out old books, maps, poi pounding boards and spears that were drenched when the basement was flooded.

The former summer vacation home for Hawaiian royalty is now a museum showcasing Victorian artifacts from the era of King Kalakaua and Queen Kapiolani.

Abercrombie’s administration previously said Hawaii suffered damage totaling tens of millions of dollars. The rough estimate combined damage to homes, businesses, hotels, boats, piers and government infrastructure.

The King Kamehameha Kona Beach Hotel was still operating, even though most of its ground floor was flooded. Workers were clearing out sand and rocks that had washed in.

Nearby, a bus-sized slab of asphalt was sitting on the beach after it had been lifted from the pier.

Some businesses in the area, including a swimwear shop and a Kona coffee shop, were boarded up because of flooding damage. But vacationers were still enjoying drinks at a bar on the second floor of a building.

Abercrombie was due to visit Maui in the afternoon after he was done seeing the damage on the Big Island.

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