Boulders no longer a threat to Nanakuli homes - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Boulders no longer a threat to Nanakuli homes

NANAKULI (HawaiiNewsNow) - There's been another case of a potential rock slides threatening homes on Oahu. About twenty homes were given notice to evacuate before crews from Janod Contractors moved in on Thursday to remove dangerous boulders on the hillside near Mokiawe Street in Nanakuli. The affected area, as well as the land under the homes is owned by the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands.

Charles Kaaukai moved into his Nanakuli home in 1972. He turned 80-years-old in May, but feels a bit younger now that roughly 30 boulders have been removed from the hill behind his home.

"I feel real good because at least we took some kind of action before something finally happened," said Kaaukai. "If it actually happened we'd have no chance of surviving."

Kaaukai read about the recent rock slides in both Kalihi and Niu valley and saw a similar situation developing behind his home after noticing a pair of boulders that had slid into his backyard.

"It's just the idea when night time and in the morning and it happens, and the contractor was saying it only takes a little small earthquake to loosen the rocks," said Kaaukai, "and especially during the morning time, we'd have no chance."

Kaaukai contacted the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands and asked for something to be done, not just for his sake, but for the sake of all the residents on Mokiawe Street. The DHHL responded and completed the job on Friday.

"Public safety is our number one priority, so when we received the letter from Mr. Kaaukai, it was a no brainer," said Crystal Kua of DHHL. "When our staff went up to inspect the site alone, we realized that it could pose harm to our homestead community.

The crew from Janod says they removed 30 boulders from the hill but future work may still be needed to completely secure the area. Residents say they're grateful that their voices were heard.

"Now at least I can say to our neighbors, we safe.. for now.," said Kaaukai.

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