Sighted! Maui Residents Enraged By FEMA Officials’ Lodgings In Luxury Hotels
Just a 45-minute drive from the fire-ravaged town of Lahaina, Hawaii, FEMA officials have been sighted comfortably living in $1,000-a-night luxury resorts during Maui recovery efforts. Locals aren’t pleased.
“Shouldn’t they stay closer to the site instead of staying across on the other side of the island?” a local government employee asked RadarOnline.com.
The news outlet reported that the U.S. bureaucratic teams, who were deployed to help the residents of Maui, have checked in at three five-star beachfront hotels, including the Fairmont Kea Lani, Four Seasons, and the Grand Wailea Astoria. Photos captured a duo at the cocktail bar at the Grand Wailea Hotel on Aug. 18. Another was seen at the registration desk the next day.
“The sad part is that federal government officials no longer care how this looks because federal agencies are now accountable to no one,” one commenter vented.
According to the DailyMail, locals are upset over FEMA’s “slow response” to the deadly wildfires that left property and family in ruins. The devastation claimed at least 114 lives, and thousands of people are homeless and living in shelters. Now, residents are furious about the spending of their taxpayer dollars.
“So they’re seeing government employees or government volunteers staying in these luxury accommodations being funded by taxpayers, that’s where the frustration comes from,” said Dustin Kaleiopu, a resident whose home was lost in the fire, per the outlet.
In a statement to the DailyMail, FEMA wrote, “FEMA selects hotels where all responders can be centrally located to ensure the most effective response possible. Due to the lack of available lodging, FEMA negotiated government rates, at the lowest possible cost, for staff temporarily staying in the available hotels.”
Meanwhile, A-list celebrities like Floyd Mayweather purchased plane tickets to fly nearly 70 residents from Maui to Honolulu, BLACK ENTERPRISE previously reported. The hotel rooms he paid for covered the families for several weeks, and he supplied them with food from local restaurants. Mayweather is also reportedly working with retailer H&M to provide the victims with clothing from the store. Oprah Winfrey, a part-time resident of Maui, donated necessary supplies and her time where evacuees have been sheltered.