Kailua-Kona home flooded twice by heavy rain

Kailua-Kona home flooded twice by heavy rain
Nat Giersbrecht
Nat Giersbrecht

KAILUA-KONA, HAWAII (HawaiiNewsNow) - Nat and Sheryl Giesbrecht had dreamed of living in Hawaii. But it has been anything but a dream in the past few weeks, as heavy rains have flooded their home twice in the last two days.

The single-story home sits just off Plumeria Road in the Alii Kai subdivision of Kailua-Kona. Inside and out, there's a visible line of mud, 18 inches high.

"The flood came down and the waters just came down from the corner of our yard, and just engulfed our whole house, as you can see from the mud line," said Nat Giesbrecht.

Giesbrecht said heavy rains on September 4 caused only minor damage. But the home was completely inundated Tuesday evening by the flash flooding that also turned Alii Drive, a few blocks makai, into a river.

"We were sitting here having dinner and we could hear it, and within half an hour we had 18 inches of water in our whole yard, in our house, everything," he said.

On Wednesday, another flash flood swept through the house, filling it with water a second time.

The newly renovated swimming pool is now filled with mud. More mud and leaves cover the new deck chairs.

Student volunteers from nearby University of the Nations are helping to clean up, taking out debris and tearing out saturated drywall.

Other homes in the subdivision were damaged, but the Giesbrecht home was the hardest hit.

"Talking to some of the neighbors, this is not normal," Giesbrecht said. "It shouldn't have flowed through our property. It should have been channeled out a little bit further. And there might be some blockage out further.

The Giesbrechts are originally from Canada and bought the house a year ago. They had been renovating it themselves to turn it into their dream home in paradise. But now they're not so sure.

"We moved to Hawaii for fun in the sun, and that's not happening," he said, looking at the mud-filled swimming pool. "All we're doing is working, and now -- we thought we would see kind of an end to this."

The couple hopes to talk with county officials to see if something can be done to stem the flooding.

A GoFundMe account has been established to raise money for the Giesbrechts. You can make a donation by clicking here.

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