Storm debris cleanup begins at Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor

(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)

WAIKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Workers have begun removing storm debris that washed into the Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor during flood conditions over the weekend.

"There's a mattress by one of our piers, there's a bunch of big logs, a bunch of palm fronds," said Mike Kelly, vice commodore of the Waikiki Yacht Club.

The contractor who cleans the debris trap by the bridge began clearing logs and other trash on Tuesday.

"Oftentimes it's just floating on top of the water, but when you get an event like this, the debris stacks up and you get all sorts of stuff that washes down from the watershed," said Ed Underwood, Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation administrator.

The state is now working on hiring a contractor to clean up the inner harbor. Boaters say the floating trash poses a potential threat to vessels.

"(For) running engines, intake water for cooling systems and all that, there's a lot of debris that can jam up and damage impellers and water pumps," said Robby Buck, port captain for the Hawaii Yacht Club.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources expects to spend about $18,000 on the two-day cleanup.

Underwood said the state is working with the city and other partners on a possible plan to boom off the three streams flowing into the Ala Wai to catch the debris before it ends up in the harbor.

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