(BIVN) – County, state and federal officials held a press conference at the Hawaii County Civil Defense Emergency Operations Center in Hilo on Monday afternoon, following an important meeting between local leaders and FEMA officials.
Mayor Harry Kim and FEMA Region IX Administrator Robert Fenton spoke with media during the conference, which was set up inside the EOC. The officials focused on FEMA’s role in the recovery process.
Also present inside the EOC were Tom Travis, the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency administrator, as well as Federal Coordinating Officer Willie Nunn, and Deputy Federal Coordinating Officer Tom Fargione.
Fenton’s visit allowed the FEMA administrator to get a first hand look at the ongoing disaster in the Puna district. Damage assessment documents are being prepared in order to request an Individual Assistance declaration for the County, officials say.
“While FEMA has provided support since the President issued the federal disaster declaration, this meeting is an opportunity for Administrator Fenton to see first hand the dramatic devastation that is occurring with the current Kilauea eruption,” the county said in an earlier media release.