By Brooks Baehr - bio | email
WAIKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) – Traffic was snarled and ground floor businesses near the intersection of Royal Hawaiian Avenue and Kuhio Avenue were flooded late Monday morning when a 12" water main broke under Royal Hawaiian Avenue.
Witnesses say they knew something was wrong when the pavement mysteriously began to lift skyward.
"We actually seen this whole entire road get a swell, and then it came up to where that construction area is wrapped around that palm tree," Brent Chase said while motioning to construction tape about three feet above the pavement. "Then all of a sudden we're all rushing around trying to get our doors shut cause we actually had a good six inches or more of water coming our way," Chase added.
Chase owns a motorcycle rental business on Royal Hawaiian Avenue, Chase Hawaii Rentals. His shop was inundated by one to two inches of water. Other were hit by up to six inches of water and may have to replace carpets and hard floor surfaces.
Some businesses had to close until the water receded and the mud was cleaned up.
"We had like a family in here, a family of ladies in here, and they were all getting tattoos and then the floods came and the water got so high we actually couldn't do it and we had to let everybody go," said Robert Hackney who owns A Tiki Tattoo on Kuhio Avenue just Diamond Head of Royal Hawaiian Avenue.
Royal Hawaiian Avenue will remain closed until the main is patched. The Board of Water Supply expects the work to last well into the night, but it hopes to finish the job before peak traffic hits the road Tuesday morning.