Weary Leeward Oahu residents do storm cleanup with more rain... - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Weary Leeward Oahu residents do storm cleanup with more rain forecasted

Monique De Ocampo Monique De Ocampo

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

WAIANAE (HawaiiNewsNow) - Residents in Nanakuli and Waianae are continuing to dig out of the muddy mess caused by the recent heavy rains. Their efforts may be wasted if the showers in the weather forecast come through.

"Everything went down," Monique De Ocampo, Waianae resident, said while examining her yard.

"That tree was up here?" this reporter asked.

"The tree was up here," she replied.

Monique De Ocampo looks at her crumbled yard, knows more rain may be on the way, and is overcome with emotion.

"We have the Weather Channel on the favorites on the TV," she said while fighting back tears. "That's how bad it is."

Her neatly-manicured yard -- the one she spent two years working on after rains eroded her property in December 2008 -- is back to being a mess. She lives next to Puuhulu Stream, which can overflow its banks during downpours.

"This time, the water didn't go quite as high," De Ocampo said. "But since the damage was already done, it just ate away everything."

She says an overgrowth of brush and an accumulation of debris in the canal proved disastrous when raging waters from last week's storm plowed through.

"We could feel the boulders going through," she recalled. "My neighbor seen the cow go through. We seen refrigerators."

The stream reached up to De Ocampo's property and took part of it with it.

"The government hasn't surveyed the area," she said. "To them, it's basically a no-flood zone. If we want insurance, it's like an astronomical amount that nobody here can afford."

One of her dog sheds is hanging precariously. Even her Rottweilers and Dobermans can't take it.

"They were really scared," she said. "I've never seen them scared."

De Ocampo received a copy of a letter state civil defense sent to the city, asking what the city's mitigation plans are, if any. She hopes city crews will come in and clear the stream bed before the next big storm.

"You can't really blame Mother Nature for all of it. You know, it's going to rain," she said. "But this just needs to be fixed once and for all."

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