DLNR urges residents to evacuate during boulder removal

NIU VALLEY(HawaiiNewsNow) - The Department of Land and Natural Resources plan on removing a 7 to 10-ton boulder from a ridge above several homes along in Niu Valley this weekend.

Recent inspection this month by DLNR Engineering staff and consultant Earth Tech AECOM revealed that the support of the boulder is precarious.  The boulder sits on the border of property owned by Niu Valley Conservation, LLC and the Hawaiian Humane Society.
"The boulder poses an imminent threat to the residents," William J. Aila, Jr. DLNR Chairperson said.

"With careful consideration and in partnership with state and county agencies, we are removing the boulder and doing everything we can to ensure the public's safety. The Department appreciates the homeowners' and public's cooperation in mitigating this hazardous situation," Aila said.

Under Act 76, the Governor has the discretion to direct state employees to enter private property to mitigate situations deemed hazardous, such as unstable rocks. DLNR and State Civil Defense employees went door-to-door on Thursday to notify 28 affected homeowners on Haleola Street   of the danger.

"We strongly advise residents to take immediate steps to protect their families, and to leave the area on Saturday morning until Sunday evening until our work to remove the boulder is finished," Aila said. Police officers will be patrolling to ensure safety of evacuated residences.

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