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PEARL HARBOR - The U.S. Navy in Hawaii is part of a multi-agency team providing relief to hundreds of isolated or displaced residents on Kauai this week after a devastating storm caused several landslides and massive flooding.
The Pacific Missile Range Facility, Barking Sands, is conducting the relief effort in coordination with U.S. Pacific Fleet.
PMRF commanding officer, Capt. Vinnie Johnson, said, ""We are grateful for the opportunity to assist our neighbors and provide support to friends and loved ones."
Using a Landing Craft Mechanized (LCM) vessel owned by the Navy and operated by the Robinson Family of Niihau Ranch, the Navy delivered a bulldozer, excavator and 40 55-gallon drums of fuel to the disaster site.
"We are working closely with our ohana (family) on Kauai," Johnson said, "and we are most thankful for the great support and cooperation from the Robinson family." Johnson described a sense of urgency as Kauai faced a second storm brewing and forecasted to hit again, putting lives at risk.
The National Weather Service in Honolulu announced another flash flood warning for the entire state from Thursday morning, April 19, through Friday afternoon, the 20th.
The U.S. Coast Guard, Hawaii National Guard, and other first responders are also providing evacuation assistance and relief aid to citizens affected by the storm, which brought 28 inches of rain in 24 hours and caused flooding, utility outages, road closures and destruction to neighborhoods on the North Shore of Kauai.
PMRF's emergency management officer, Scot Freeman, operated from the county Emergency Operations Center and in coordination with the County Fire Chief, Robert Westerman, a former PMRF Fire Chief, among others.
"What makes our relationships so strong here is there is half-a-degree separation between everyone on Kauai," Johnson said.
Pacific Missile Range Facility Barking Sands, part of Navy Region Hawaii, is the world's largest instrumented multi-environmental range capable of supported surface, subsurface, air, and space operations simultaneously. PMRF is one of Kauai's three largest employers.