Gov. Ige declares Maui County as disaster area due to drought conditions

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Hawaii Gov. David Ige issued an emergency proclamation on Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021, declaring Maui County as a disaster area due to drought conditions that have persisted since March, 2019.

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The proclamation comes after Maui County rangers and farmers suffered significant financial loss from the migration of axis deer into agricultural areas. Hundreds of deer have also died from starvation in Maui County. Gov. Ige said, immediate action can now be taken.

“The drought has hit Maui County hard, and I am declaring it a disaster area so we can take immediate measures to reduce and control the axis deer populations and to remove and dispose of the carcasses quickly.”

Hawaii Gov. David Ige

Maui County Mayor Mike Victorino said, farmers and ranchers are extremely grateful for the emergency proclamation.

“Maui County’s farmers and ranchers are very grateful to Governor Ige for signing the emergency drought proclamation. Since this drought started nearly two years ago, our agricultural sector has sustained substantial pasture and crop damage from Axis deer in search of food. Molokaʻi has especially been impacted by starvation and death in its deer population. This proclamation helps us to overcome regulatory barriers and it can unlock state and federal funding to mitigate some of their financial losses. We appreciate the governor’s help in solving these problems.”

Maui County Mayor Mike Victorino

The proclamation allows “the state to provide relief from disaster damages, losses, suffering caused by the disaster, and to protect the health, safety and welfare of the people,” according to the Office of the Governor.

The emergency proclamation will be in effect through Thursday, March 18, 2021.

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