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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 11:43 a.m., Thursday, May 4, 2006

U.S. Senate approves $37.5 million for Hawai'i storm recovery

Advertiser Staff

The U.S. Senate today passed the 2006 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Bill that includes $37.5 million in storm-related assistance for Kaua'i and other parts of Hawai'i that were battered by 42 consecutive days of punishing rainstorms and floods earlier this year, a news release from U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye's office announced.

The vote was 78 to 20. The House passed its version of the emergency spending bill by a vote of 348 to 71 on March 16, the news release said.

"I am pleased that the Senate bill, which includes the much-needed assistance for Kaua'i and the state, is advancing to a House-Senate conference committee that will reconcile differences in the House and Senate versions of the legislation," said Inouye, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee who was named a Senate conferee. "I am well aware of the crucial role the funds will serve in helping all affected areas of the state as well as residents and businesses in recovering from the havoc-causing weather. The funds will also help to ensure that the state can better withstand similar weather-related emergencies."

Here is how the money will be spent, according to the release:

$20 million for repairs to Kuuhiuo Highway and other roads and road infrastructure,

$6 million in transportation funds to help sugarcane growers cope with their losses,

$3 million, through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), for the repair and rebuilding of the irrigation system infrastructure and removal of debris that are necessary because of the failure of the Kaloko Reservoir dam

$3 million, requested by NRCS, for debris removal and stream bank stabilization throughout O'ahu, particularly the Windward side and 'Aiea

$3 million to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for water systems technical assistance and flood plain management services.

$1 million to assess the state's water quality in the wake of the spill of 48 million gallons of raw sewage that temporarily closed Waikuikui beaches, because a Waikuikui sewer line, weakened by storm waters, ruptured.

$1 million for crop disaster assistance

$500,000 for the U.S. Geological Survey's Hydrologic Networks and Analysis Program to provide assistance with conducting assessments of critical reservoirs and dams on Kaua'i. Those assessments include reservoir-level instrumentation, post-flood hydraulic assessments, and monitoring of dam structures using light detection imagery.