Falling boulders frighten Aiea neighborhood

Manny Salvador
Manny Salvador

By Tim Sakahara - bio | email

AIEA (HawaiiNewsNow) - Homeowners in Aiea have been shaken after a huge boulder crashed into a house and hurt two people.  Now neighbors on Holoai Street are wondering what they'll do to prevent it from happening again.

There is a hole in the side of the mountain with some exposed soil and a few roots from plants.  That's where the boulder had been.  Once it started rolling down you can follow the trail all the way down the hillside.  The four foot tall grass is lying down showing the boulders path. There are even some other separate boulders that appear to have come loose and stopped.

Then you go down to the house and see the huge boulder, about six feet tall and six feet wide, that went all the way into the house busting a gaping hole through the wall.

A husband and wife were hurt.  Friends say the man had surgery on his leg.  The woman had a CAT scan but was released from the hospital.

Neighbors like Manny Salvador spent the day looking for more boulders.  Their property lines continue all the way up to the houses on the top of the hill.  None of it is state or city land so it's up to homeowners to maintain.  Salvador does have some rocks he's been keeping an eye on.

"If anything that would concern me somewhat because it looks like some of the rock face is breaking up somewhat," said Salvador, standing on the hillside.   "It only takes slight movement to shift it you know."

When he moved in 11 years ago he planted several trees and put up fence posts but never finished the job.

"You think you'll finish the fence now?"

"Most likely yes," Salvador responded.

Other neighbors also checked out the lay of the land.  A quick scan around the hillside and there appear to be other potentially dangerous boulders.

There was a voluntary evacuation although we didn't find anyone who left.  However some did opt to sleep in the street side bedrooms rather than the rooms next to the hillside.

One neighbor already has a heavy duty fence in place, but paying for that piece of mind isn't cheap.

"My wife being a geologist that was the first question I asked her was what does something like that cost obviously it's expensive," said Cory Palsgrove, homeowner.

"It's a matter of when not if," said Palsgrove, referring to the next boulder to fall.

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