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UPDATE: 10:47 a.m.
As previously announced, re-entry to Lahaina begins on Monday. Green today said residents and property owners will have time to spend at their properties during this first visit.
“We know people are going to be grieving and suffering a great deal of despair when they see how little is left,” Green said. “Also, there are some locations where people did lose loved ones, as we know, so all of those are considerations. But they intend to do what’s ever necessary for people to get closure.”
Individuals from behavioral health support services will be on hand to assist survivors, Green said.
Green said there will not be a formal time limit, but “there will definitely be capacity for several hours for people to go through. …There will be lots of opportunity for people to see if they find a lost ring, a picture, or some other keepsake.”
In responding to a reporter’s question, Green said Lahaina residents currently staying in hotels or Airbnbs won’t be displaced when West Maui reopens to visitors on Oct. 8.
American Red Cross Deputy Coordinating Officer Adam Runkle said he is aware of the potential concern from affected undocumented immigrants in Lahaina who may be hesitant to step forward to request financial assistance.
“I want to reassure … our assistance is for all,” Runkle said. “Any information you share with us will stay with us and we won’t pass that along to any immigration agencies.”
Gov. Josh Green today discussed recovery and relief efforts following the Aug. 8 wildfire that destroyed the historic town of Lahaina.
>> West Maui reopens to visitors on Oct. 8 to help speed up the economic recovery, Green said.
>> The construction of a replacement site for King Kamehameha III Elementary School, which was damaged beyond repair in the fire.
>> Green says the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will be providing construction assistance. About 18 months or more of rental assistance is available through the Federal Emergency Management Agency with already 15,931 people registered.
>> The formation of the Governor’s Joint Housing Task Force.
Gov. Josh Green is holding a press conference at 10 a.m. today along with state and nonprofit officials to discuss the latest updates regarding school, housing and grants following the Aug. 8 wildfires on Maui.
At least 97 people have been killed in the fire, which caused an estimated $5.5 billion in damage. Lahaina property owners and residents along Kaniau Road will be allowed re-entry into the restricted disaster zone beginning Monday.
Speakers include state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism Director James Kunane Tokioka; state Department of Human Services Director Cathy Betts; American Red Cross Deputy Coordinating Officer Adam Runkle and Hawai‘i Community Foundation CEO Micah Kane.