PHOTOS & VIDEO: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Joins State, Local, FEMA, and Community Leaders in Kauaʻi Recovery Efforts, Participates in Earth Day Cleanup in Waimānalo
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard was on Kauaʻi from Thursday through Saturday to assist with recovery efforts after a record-setting storm wiped out many homes and local businesses, left communities isolated due to landslides, and required hundreds to be evacuated. After arriving in Līhuʻe from Washington, DC on Thursday afternoon, the congresswoman attended the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Briefing Thursday night with first responders from around the state working on rescue and recovery missions. The congresswoman began Friday morning at the EOC with an update from Kauaʻi County and State Emergency Management leaders, then collected supplies before heading out to Hanalei. She visited with community leaders like Joel Guy, Megan Wong, Mehana Vaughn, and Laird Hamilton who have been spearheading recovery efforts in the area. They walked through some of the neighborhoods hardest hit, and heard from residents and small business owners whose properties have been severely damaged. She visited with Soldiers in the Hawai’i Army National Guard in Hanalei and Wainiha who are supporting the community and county efforts. In the afternoon, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard joined Mayor Bernard Carvalho on an aerial tour of the damage, and visited Wainiha and Hāʻena, communities that are isolated due to landslides. She visited volunteers who are distributing food and grocery items to local residents, drivers delivering food to families who cannot get to the distribution point, the nurses and doctor who have just stood up an urgent care clinic to provide medical aid, and drove through the areas hardest hit. She held a meeting with community leaders to hear their concerns and address their questions.
Rep. Gabbard began Saturday morning at the Kauaʻi County EOC Briefing to share the feedback and concerns from residents with government officials, then visited with Megan Fox from Malama Kauaʻi at Anini Beach where they’re loading boats with food and supplies for the isolated communities. She visited the operations center set up by community volunteers, the supplies and food being distributed out of Waipa, and drove as far as possible on Kūhiō Hwy which was covered by multiple landslides, and where workers are busy around the clock trying to clear the roads.
On Sunday morning, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard joined Sustainable Coastlines Hawaiʻi’s Waimānalo Beach Cleanup and Annual Earth Day Festival, where she and nearly a thousand volunteers from across the island got to work clearing debris and trash from the beach that accumulated from heavy rainfalls and flooding.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard will return to Washington, DC tomorrow, as Congress goes back into session on Tuesday.