Hawaii Dem senator praises federal response to Hurricane Lane as 'more than solid'

Hawaii Dem senator praises federal response to Hurricane Lane as 'more than solid'
© Greg Nash

Hawaii Sen. Brian SchatzBrian Emanuel SchatzTech CEOs clash with lawmakers in contentious hearing Bitter fight over Barrett fuels calls to nix filibuster, expand court Senate Democrats hold talkathon to protest Barrett's Supreme Court nomination MORE (D) praised the Trump administration's response to numerous potential hazards posed by oncoming Hurricane Lane on Friday, calling the federal government's response "sharp and aggressive" in the face of the Category 2 storm.

Lane's approach Friday morning came amid two large brush fires and brought bouts of torrential rain and heavy winds to Hawaii's central islands, local authorities told The New York Times.

In a pair of tweets, the junior senator thanked first responders and government agencies for their quick responses to the damage.


"Big mahalo to first responders across Hawai`i, from Maui County firefighters in west Maui to emergency crews in Hilo. They are working hard and taking real risks while leaving their own families at home," Schatz wrote.

"The National Weather Service, FEMA, DOD, FCC, FDOT, Coast Guard, and other federal agencies have been sharp and aggressive in their mobilization," he added, listing government agencies like the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Department of Defense, Federal Communications Commission and Department of Transportation.

"We are only about halfway through this, and it’s already catastrophic, but the federal response has been more than solid."

The Trump administration's disaster response came under heavy criticism last year after a pair of hurricanes struck Florida and Puerto Rico, leaving millions without power for months on Puerto Rico. Many said the administration did not do enough to help restore power or ship necessary resources to the island.

Power was fully restored to Puerto Rico this month, nearly 11 months after Hurricane Maria ravaged the island. The repairs cost billions of dollars and will require more work to bring the island's power grid to a more resilient level, according to officials.

Hurricane season began on June 1.