Corps of Engineers provides Maui wildfires recovery update

By Makenzie LeonardApril 27, 2024

Kihei, Hawaiʻi – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers continues its progress in support of the Maui wildfires recovery effort.

There are currently about 100 USACE employees in Maui supporting a variety of missions including debris removal, temporary housing and a critical public facilities mission that supported the construction of the temporary King Kamehameha III elementary school. The work is funded by Federal Emergency Management Agency, supporting the state of Hawaiʻi and the county of Maui.

Since debris removal within Lahaina began Jan. 17, USACE and its contractors have cleared 800 of the approximate 1,600 residential properties it has contracted to clear. This includes 300 residential lots that have been returned to the county of Maui allowing homeowners to begin the rebuilding process. In addition to the residential properties, USACE has also cleared twelve commercial lots of ash and debris.

Once a property is cleared of ash and debris, USACE then takes soil samples to ensure the property is safe. Once testing is complete and determined to be safe, clean gravel is placed on the property to prevent erosion.

Other debris removal efforts include more than 1,900 vehicles that have been removed from the impacted area and brought to Pioneer Mill for processing by county officials.

The temporary King Kamehameha III Elementary School continues to remain a top priority for USACE staff. They are working on a long-term maintenance contract to ensure the ~350 students and faculty have a safe, clean environment to learn and grow.

The USACE housing team continues to make progress on the construction of the temporary housing site at Kilohana on Maui. The site includes 169 temporary properties that will house displaced Lahaina families and community members. Construction is expected to begin in May and will include constructing the water and sewer lines, electrical and roads.