More damage reported in Hawaii from Tsunami

Sally Inkster
Sally Inkster

By Tim Sakahara - bio | email

KAILUA-KONA (HawaiiNewsNow) - The tsunami damage in Hawaii has gone up considerably.  Tens of millions dollars is the new estimate on damages throughout Hawaii and the state is still assessing the damage.  That includes public properties, private businesses and residential homes.

State crews are going to every island to see the damage and get a more detailed account of the repairs needed meanwhile hotels and homeowners are already cleaning up in the wake of the tsunami.

There were four hotels on the big island that suffered some significant damage including the  Kona Inn, Kona Reef Resort, King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel and the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai.

The Four Seasons had 363 guests at the time the tsunami arrived, all of whom were evacuated to higher ground at the golf course club house, which does have a restaurant, bar and locker room.

"All in all it was a very safe evacuation," said Robert Whitfield, Four Seasons Resort Hualalai General Manager.

The guests have now been moved to other hotels and all employees from receptionists to food servers are now cleaning up removing debris and retrieving furniture that floated away.

"All of our employees have been here the last couple days helping in the cleanup effort. Every day it looks considerably better than it did the day before. It's hard to say exactly when we're going to have it all finished but I expect we'll have most of the debris cleaned up and the damage assessed by the end of this week for sure."

The Hulihee Palace in Kailua-Kona has been hit by another natural disaster.  The tsunami wave jumped the palace wall and flooded the basement.  That happened to be where they stored a lot of valuables such as photographs and historical records.

Volunteers have stepped up to help the cleanup process.  Workers are also going through the artifacts to see what can be restored.

"It did flow down into our basement and busted open the doors and we had five feet of water in the basement unfortunately it went into the vapor room where we kept our artifacts and collectibles and caused the most damage to our collection down there," said Sally Inkster, Hulihee Palace Grounds Director.  "We have a lot of our records stored there and are irreparably broken and ruined."

The palace was closed for three and a half years after the earthquake in 2006. It's been open the past year only to be hit by the tsunami.  Inkster says it will be closed another week.

The street the palace is on is getting worked on as well.  Crews have started repairing Ali'i Drive.  It was washed out by the tsunami. Some businesses on that street are boarded up while crews work on renovations inside.

The City of Refuge Pu'uhonua O Honaunau National Historic Park was also inundated with water and some archeological artifacts were damaged by the tsunami.

On Molokai at least six houses have been flooded, damaged or knocked off their foundation including one where an SUV washed into the house.  Most of the damage came on the east side of the island.  Homeowners and insurance agents are still assessing just how much damage was caused. No one was hurt or missing as a result of the tsunami.

Some parks on Maui have been damaged.  Kanaha Beach Park in Kahului, Baldwin Park in Paia, and Kalepolepo Park in Kihei are closed till further notice.

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