Hawaii Governor Brian Schweitzer on Thursday announced a $1.3 billion aid package that includes $1 million to help repair damage to the state’s power grid, a $500 million program for flood relief and $1 to help restore schools and infrastructure.
Schweitzer announced the package in Honolulu, which is in the path of Tropical Storm Florence, which was downgraded to a tropical storm late Wednesday and was expected to remain so as the storm moves inland.
The governor said the money would go to rebuilding the state of Hawaii.
The governor said $500m is needed to help the state recover from the damage of Tropical Depression-level winds and rain in late February and early March, which killed 14 people and left more than 2,000 others homeless.
Florence was downgrading to a hurricane at landfall as a Category 1 hurricane on Tuesday, a level that means the storm could cause catastrophic damage in Hawaii, where some people live on the islands.
Schweitzerts decision came after President Donald Trump said Wednesday that the president will not take credit for the rescue effort, but that the federal government is “pushing” for aid.
“We are very grateful to the federal Government for providing such assistance to the people of Hawaii and to the governor of Hawaii,” Trump said in a statement.
“The Governor and I are committed to rebuilding our state and will continue to work with our friends and allies in the U.S. government to help this effort.”
Trump and his administration have said they would not take responsibility for the response and were instead focusing on making sure Hawaii gets the help it needs.
The Trump administration has been working to get Hawaii more money from Congress to help pay for storm relief and said Wednesday it has raised the total amount of money available for the state from $1,000 million to $1 trillion.
The amount of the money is part of a package that the administration will announce Thursday to help support hurricane victims in the states that have been hit hardest by the storm.
The package will include $1 in the form of a supplemental aid package for the U and O islands, and $300 million for Hawaii.
The $500,000 grant will be made available to help build a $3.3 million school to rebuild and repair facilities damaged by Hurricane Florence in February.
The $500k to help schools and universities repair damage is part-of a $2.3m supplemental aid grant.
Trump tweeted Wednesday that Hawaii’s Governor Brian D. Schweitti is “a hero for his bravery, generosity, and dedication to Hawaii’s recovery.”
Trump tweeted that the aid package would go toward rebuilding schools and restoring roads damaged by Tropical Storm-level wind and rain.
In addition, the president has directed the Treasury Department to provide $100 million to the states relief efforts and to reimburse local governments for costs incurred by the state.
According to the Associated Press, the U-shaped island nation of Hawaii was one of the first states to receive FEMA aid after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma devastated Texas and Florida, and now it has been one of those hardest-hit by Tropical Depression Florence, downgraded from a tropical cyclone to a minor hurricane.
Trump’s administration has faced a number of criticism in recent weeks over its handling of the response to Hurricane Florence, but Schweitzer said he hopes the president and the state leaders of both parties will help Hawaii get back on its feet.
“I am grateful to President Trump for recognizing that the recovery efforts we have been putting into the state, and the response that the Governor and Governor Schweitzer have been leading, are very much in line with what has happened here in Hawaii,” Schweitzer told the Associated White House Press.