Lanai Airport assessed for storm damage

Engineers and contractors are assessing damage to buildings at Lanai Airport, which was hit by 54-mph gusts at midmorning Friday, as Tropical Storm Iselle passed through Maui County, a state airports official said.

The wind blew out four rollup doors at the recently built state airport fire station, said Marvin Moniz, Maui airports district manager for the state. He said there also was damage to a maintenance facility shared by state airport maintenance, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Securitas and another agency. The roof of the main terminal building also was damaged.

With help from Pulama Lana’i, state workers temporarily fixed the damage, which totaled more than $100,000, Moniz said.

“There was no disruption in service at all,” he said.

Moniz said engineers and contractors were assessing the damage before permanent repairs would begin.

Although Hana and Kapalua airports also experienced wind and rain, the Lanai airport was the only one in Maui County that sustained damage from the storm, Moniz said. He said the severe wind that caused the damage on Lanai lasted for a brief period, as the storm appeared to be winding down.

On Thursday night, five people were housed and fed in the Kahului Airport terminal so they could be out of harm’s way as the storm was approaching, Moniz said. He said airport employees staffed an emergency operations center at the airport for more than 30 hours during the storm, communicating with airlines and rental car employees and receiving updates every two hours.

Maui Electric Co. crews restored power to all customers by 6:15 p.m. Sunday, when the remaining 39 customers in Olinda and Piiholo were brought back online, the company reported. Crews had worked around-the-clock since late Thursday to repair and replace electrical equipment that was damaged by Iselle’s heavy rains and strong winds.

“Thank you to all of our customers for your patience and understanding as our crews worked to safely restore power as quickly as possible,” said Sharon Suzuki, MECO president.

Young Brothers reported loading cargo on a Kahului-bound barge, which left Honolulu on Saturday and arrived Sunday.

A barge wasn’t loaded for Kaunakakai because almost no cargo – and no essential cargo – was delivered for the sailing, the company said.

Meanwhile, Bank of Hawaii announced it has initiated three financial assistance programs to help those affected by the storm.

The programs provide access to cash through special loan programs or getting relief from existing Bank of Hawaii loans through extensions or deferment, according to the bank. Features include low interest rates, no payments for the first three months, fast approval and quick funding, reduced payments with loan terms up to 60 months and loan amounts up to $25,000, according to the bank.

Funds can be used for emergency supplies and living essentials, home and vehicle repairs and extension or deferment on loans.

“These financial emergency relief programs are designed for quick approval to allow people to recover as swiftly as possible,” said Peter Ho, chairman, chief executive officer and president of the bank.

* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at