Project Veritas

Hawai’i Government Officials Contradict Own Citizens’ Accounts on Maui Fire Disaster

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Key Points

  • Maui Mayor’s Office: “The water wasn’t off.”

  • Governor Green’s Office: “As far as I know, that [water shut off]… hasn’t been ever an issue.”

  • Chris Berle, Maui Resident: “The power company and the government just need to be real and honest. And stop lying about what happened, or what didn’t happen.”

  • Lorien Acquintas: “I do remember some of my friends trying to bust the fire hydrants and there was no water coming out of it.”

[LAHAINA, HAWAI'I] In the aftermath of the devastating August fire that claimed over 100 lives in Lahaina, Maui, an independent journalist partnered with Project Veritas to investigate the claims of island residents who shared their water and electricity was not functioning on the morning of the deadly fire.

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Several Lahaina residents shared frustrations stemming from what they see as inconsistencies in the official accounts of the government’s emergency response to the deadliest wildfire in modern U.S. history.

Residents describe waking up on the morning of August 8th to find their water was either shut off, or barely functioning. This was hours before the fire was first reported around 3pm local time. Community members suspect that the water shutdown may have played a significant role in the rapid spread of the fire, which leveled the island and claimed at least 115 lives.

Others noted that an emergency housing proclamation signed by Governor Josh Green on July 17, 2023, just three weeks before the Maui fire, allowed the governor to temporarily suspend several laws and granted additional emergency powers including the ability to shut off water mains, gas mains, electric power, and other services.

7.17.23 HI Governor Emergency Proclamation - 127A-13 Emergency Powers

This journalist held meetings with multiple representatives from the Maui mayor’s office and the governor's office, all of whom clung to the official narrative that the water supply had not been interrupted.

Following the blaze, the head of Maui County’s water department, John Stufflebean, explained that water leaks in already destroyed structures caused water to pour from the system, leaving fire hydrants with little water pressure.

As the historic town of Lahaina continues to grapple with the devastating aftermath of these fires, community members continue to raise questions about the government’s emergency response.

Stay tuned as Project Veritas continues to investigate the government’s response to the deadly fire.


About Project Veritas

Project Veritas is a non-profit investigative news organization conducting undercover reporting. Project Veritas investigates and exposes corruption, dishonesty, self-dealing, waste, fraud, and other misconduct in both public and private institutions to achieve a more ethical and transparent society. Project Veritas is a registered 501(c)(3) organization.