Maui community still cleaning up, a week after torrential rains - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Maui community still cleaning up, a week after torrential rains

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(image: Hawaii News Now) (image: Hawaii News Now)
(image: Hawaii News Now) (image: Hawaii News Now)
(image: Hawaii News Now) (image: Hawaii News Now)
(image: Hawaii News Now) (image: Hawaii News Now)
KAHAKULOA, MAUI (HAWAII NEWS NOW) -

A small community on Maui is facing a long-term recovery after Sunday’s storm.

“It sounded like a bowling alley right here in front of our house because the boulders were tumbling so hard and shaking the ground,” said Neal Norris.

Norris has lived in in Kahakuloa for almost 50 years. For half a century, he says he’s never seen anything like it before.

“The river was just had so much volume in it...it was going over the banks, coming down through our driveway. We had big giant rocks and boulders pushing up against the cars, we didn’t have time to move the cars up because it happened so fast,” Norris said.

About one hundred people live in the tiny northwest Maui village. On Sunday, the river overflowed its banks and nearly wiped out the entire community. The bridge near the Norris' home washed away along with much of the road a handful of families use to get to their homes.

“We usually take this road out, but right now, if the river comes up, we’re stuck here. We’re trapped in here. And with that bridge the way it is too, that’s the lifeline for families up the valley,” said Norris.

Calvin Kuamoo is one of the old-timers. The only way he can get to his home is by foot.

“I walk home because my car is down there…I cannot come up because my car is low and under one ton. So any excitement, it may push my car,” he said.

The residents were able to restore their access to clean drinking water. Now they just need to restore their access to everything else.

“Right now we’re dealing with the cleanup and most of the cleanup we can do is what we can manage in the daylight hours,” Kuamoo said.

It’s been five days of cleanup, and uncertainty while villagers brace themselves for what this weekend's weather could bring.

“We need big machinery to get all this out so that way the water can flow freely and stay within the river bed that it should be instead of wiping out the rest of the road way. But it’s gonna take big machines to clear this out,” Malia Kekona said.

Kekona said all they can do is hope someone comes to help with heavy machinery and that Mother Nature gives them time to repair their community.

To offer help to the Kahakuloa families in their recovery process, you may email mkimberlyk@gmail.com.

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