State land leaders reveal plan to outsmart floods in Manoa

State land leaders reveal plan to outsmart floods in Manoa
Sally Mist
Sally Mist
Ken Kawahara
Ken Kawahara
Linda Green
Linda Green

By Mari-Ela David - bio | email

MANOA (HawaiiNewsNow) - Two giant pipes filled with holes - that's the solution to help prevent property damage in Manoa. Four years after the some of the worst flooding in Hawaii's history, residents got a look at how it'll work.

The project site is just past the lookout on Round Top Drive. The goal is to keep heavy rains from dumping floodwaters down the slope and out to the homes below in Manoa Valley.

Who can forget the 40 days of rain that swamped Oahu in 2006?

In Manoa, runoff filled with debris washed through neighborhoods.

"It's like six to eight inches of mud going down the street and overflowing over the street. It was a nightmare," said Sally Mist, a flood victim from Manoa.

Storms battered the Tantalus hillside with such force, it triggered a landslide that shut down Round Top Drive.

The relentless rain left streets caked with dirt, and damaged three homes, including Linda Green's.

"This is a picture of the backyard. That was the first mud flow so that's what we woke up to one morning," said Green.

Four years later, flood victims gathered at Noelani Elementary Wednesday night, where the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) revealed a $1million-plus plan to keep residents safe from future floods.

Crews will build rainfall dispersion channels at two storm drain culverts along Round Top Drive.

DLNR says they're like pipes with small holes all over them, so instead of water pouring out of one end, it's spread out to a larger area. That way, the ground has an easier time soaking up the rainwater.

However, it won't mean Manoa residents will never get flooded.

"I wouldn't say never, but we think this is a great step to minimize any further damage from those types of rains," said Ken Kawahara, DLNR Deputy Director.

"It's nice to know that they are fixing it," said Mist.

"Everyone here is pretty excited that something is finally going to happen," said Green.

Construction starts June 1st and ends in October. A heads-up for drivers: There will be one-lane closures and some contraflowing in the project zone during. Work hours will be Monday through Friday, from 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

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