HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - With several streams nearby, low-lying Iwilei near Dole cannery is prone to flooding. But area business said human neglect is also a factor
Storm runoff near Dillingham Boulevard on Kuwili Street is supposed to be carried through Iwilei's storm drains into the Kapalama Canal by a privately owned pumping system.
But four years ago, one of the two pumps broke down and owner Castle & Cooke hasn't made any repairs. Jim Eichler, CEO of Govinda's Fresh Juices, said he asked the city to do something about the broken pump last September after flooding caused $25,000 in damage to his business.
But in a response that came just last month, the city told him that it could not force Castle & Cooke to add new pumps.
"To me it's quite ridiculous that the city doesn't step in because so many people in the area are affected by this," said Eichler.
"To leave it as it is and do nothing is just so irresponsible for our government. We pay a lot of taxes to our government."
Councilman Joey Manahan said he's disappointed that the city isn't doing more to help area businesses -- especially since it's a public safety issue.
He said the council is now looking get the city to acquire the pump station.
"The city should have reached out to the private property owners to try to access the pumps or try to drain some of the flooding in the area," Manahan said.
Castle & Cooke said it's now in the process of replacing the pump and will work with the city and state to seek a long-term solution to the drainage problem.