KAHALUU (HawaiiNewsNow) - High up Ahuimanu Road, a backhoe grabbed buckets of boulders as city workers plowed through piles of rock to unplug Ahuimanu Stream.
"We're going to clear out the eight pipes that are pretty much blocked by the rocks," said Chad Maio, acting superintendent of the City Facility Maintenance Kaneohe yard.
The 36-inch pipes run under the road and moves water from one side of the stream to other. All eight culverts were pipes were blocked and caused a backup.
"It seemed like the water just breached the head wall, then came along the road shoulder," Maio said.
The torrent tore away a section of road surface and spilled back in with a vengeance. It damaged the stream bank and took out a wall.
"That's a big chunk that's missing. Gosh! What is that? Eight or ten feet?" resident Rod Martin said, looking at the wreckage.
"If we don't keep the pipe open and flowing, it probably can cause more damage," Maio said.
Trucks removed 80 to 100 cubic yards of debris from the stream. City crews did similar work at other sites around Oahu, from Waianae to Pearl City to Laie.
"It's clearing clogged drains and ditches in some areas. Also removing a lot of debris, rubbish and rocks from the road," Facility Maintenance Director Wes Chun said.
Ahuimanu's done this before. The city clears the stream bed before a storm. But this time nothing could beat nature. And the work's not finished.
"After the cleanup, we'll come back in a couple of days when it's dry weather, and then we'll repave the road," Maio said.
"It would be good if we can make use of the natural resources," Martin said. "Rather than ship that out to Nanakuli to the dump, use it around here to fill in where the road is washing away."