SAND ISLAND, OAHU (HAWAIINEWSNOW) - Boaters at Keehi Small Boat Harbor are fed up with flooding in their parking lot. Some high tides turn it into a wading pool.
"It's deepest point out in the middle there can get up to knee-deep," boater Joshua Woodward said. "You can't even get a car through."
Boaters say the lot has flooded for years during high tide, but some insist it got worse when the state built a seawall last year to try to decrease the flooding.
The seawall consists of concrete slabs, which were stacked fronting Dock 900.
"They didn't put any mortar in between. They didn't put any concrete on the outside. So they're porous," boater Jeff Nicolay said.
Eric Yuasa, engineering chief for the state's Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation, said the state plans to stop the flooding with a series of projects to raise the parking lot. The seawall was the first step.
"The seawall is needed for us to fill in the parking. Without the seawall we couldn't raise the elevation of the parking to what it needs to be," he said.
The state will also install water, sewer and power lines, then the parking lot will be lifted and paved. That work could begin by the end of the year.
The state is spending $17 million on harbor repairs and upgrades at Keehi Small Boat Harbor, including about $1.5 million to pave the parking lots.
Boaters say the improvements aren't happening fast enough.
"I just want to see it become a priority," Woodward said. "People don't have access to get to their boats and it's creating an unsafe environment."
Nicolay added, "Water evaporates, and this is salt water. It's evaporating under peoples cars so so a lot of people are seeing rust."
Boaters believe the state isn't taking their complaints seriously, but Yuasa says the flooding problem is being addressed.
"In order for us to do the paving we need to do the utilities first," he said.