City, state crews prepare for heavy rains from 2 hurricanes approaching state

City, state crews prepare for heavy rains from 2 hurricanes approaching state
(Image: Hawaii news Now)
(Image: Hawaii news Now)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Last month, heavy rains from Tropical Storm Darby drenched Oahu and flooded roadways.

State and city crews are trying to avoid a repeat of those problems as hurricanes Madeline and Lester track toward the state.

On Tuesday, the state Transportation of Department stacked large sandbags on School Street above the H-1 Freeway, while city crews concentrated on trouble spots to avoid a repeat of the mud bog that blanketed Dillingham Boulevard after Darby.

State DOT spokesman Tim Sakahara said preventive work is also being done on the Neighbor Islands ahead of the two storms.

City Department of Emergency Management director Mel Kaku said crews on Tuesday cleared debris from Kalihi Stream, and worked to remove debris from other waterways that are trouble spots during storms.

In Ewa Beach, for example, a city Facilities Maintenance crew swept sand from the entrance of a channel that's prone to overflow.

"The city brought the bulldozer and they bulldozed the mouth of the canal to flatten out the sand so the water can go out. So in case there's heavy rains it won't flood into our street or into our neighbor's yard," Aekai Place resident Margie Araki said.

Statewide, the Transportation Department completed erosion control and moved heavy equipment to key areas so workers can respond in a pinch.

"Hana Highway is obviously a very big highway that is prone to some issues," Sakahara said. "We're staging vehicles and equipment there. In the event there's a landslide or landslides, our crews will be able to respond right away and get that open quickly."

City and state crews will be back out Wednesday.

As for harbors and airports, Sakahara said DOT will be ready to assist if ports or runways are damaged by the hurricanes.

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