Ponding prompts closures of zoo, city golf courses

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Major ponding across Downtown Honolulu on Wednesday prompted closures of the Honolulu Zoo and several city golf courses.

The heavy rains appeared to cause more inconvenience than damage, though, and unlike they have in past storms, sewers and storm drains held up against the torrent.

"A lot of the preparations we did prior to the incoming severe weather really helped us with the drainage and water flows," said Melvin Kaku, director of the city's Department of Emergency Management. "We did stream cleaning and made sure that all of the catch basins and culverts were all cleaned out."

Still, there were a handful of flooded homes. Terry Kakazu had several inches of water in her Punchbowl basement.

She blames runoff from a neighbor's yard and a collapsed drainage pipe.

"My basement has been flooding whenever there's large rain," she said. "The basement is supposed to be a place to store things, but because of all of this water, there's mold and dampness and it has damaged a lot of my personal property."

More significant damage appears to have been done to people's plans.

The West Loch and Ewa Villages golf courses were closed the entire day, and play at the Ala Wai course was temporarily suspended.

"It looks like we've gotten quite a bit of rain, so I don't know if we're going to do it or not," said Rick Klaasen, a visitor from Westlake Village, Calif. "There's a lot of ponding out there."

"Yeah, (I'm) a little bit disappointed," he added. "You don't come to Hawaii to get rained out. But it is what it is."

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