Muddy mess in Mililani, neighbors say Mother Nature's not only o - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Muddy mess in Mililani, neighbors say Mother Nature's not only one to blame

Shaun Dunn Shaun Dunn
Eden Spurlin Eden Spurlin
Steven Smith Steven Smith
MILILANI, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Rain in the Mililani community of Melemanu Woodlands is not uncommon, but two inches of mud left behind from last night's storm runoff is unlike anything neighbors living there for 30 years have ever seen.

"We've never ever had a problem before with flooding. This is the very first time," said Shaun Dunn. He and his family are renting a home and operating their business out of the garage along Waikalani Drive. But instead of working on customer's orders today, Dunn was shoveling mud and debris out of his driveway.

According Dunn -- it had only been raining hard for about an hour and a half when suddenly his garage was under nearly 8 inches of muddy rain water.

"The drain was working -- it was trying to do its job so hard that it actually blasted cement out of the wall," said Dunn.

"The water was rushing down so fast down the side over here and coming down the side, running down underneath the house that it opened up the trench here," explained Dunn, pointing out damage caused by last night's storm. But the sheer volume and velocity of the water didn't add up for Dunn or his neighbor, who suspected recent work along the property line they share with Sandwich Isles Communications was to blame.

"This was not an act of God.  This was a problem with the design of their road," said Eden Spurlin, who has lived in the neighborhood since 1989.

Spurlin says she and her husband rushed out to the Sandwich Isles security guard last night when muddy rainwater started pouring in waterfalls from the company's property above her home. 

"I told them this is an emergency and he says -- we do not have an emergency contingency plan -- and they would come in the morning," said Spurlin.  "And by the time they came-- their little blockage there that's supposed to direct the water in another area broke in four other places and our whole valley was tragically destroyed in some areas."

Dunn showed us where hay bales lined up along the Sandwich Isles property fence had been pushed through by the force of last night's storm run-off. "You can see that none of this soil was here before the water had started pushing it down. This whole entire road was covered with their gravel-- that is now on my roadway," said Dunn.

While we were with Dunn and Spurlin surveying the damage to their properties, Sandwich Isles sent a clean-up crew. The company's property manager also stopped by, but didn't have much to say-- "We're just being good neighbors, that's all."

Steven Smith owns the home Dunn is renting. He says the Sandwich Isles property manager told him they planned to dig out a trench line to divert the water elsewhere.

"If he can make those commitments I'll take a look at them and decide what needs to happen next but we'll see," said Smith, before adding – " "This is quite a catastrophe."

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