Hawaiian homestead residents aren't waiting for the state to clean up flood mess

WAIMANALO, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Department of Hawaiian Homelands is working with other agencies to assess the damage at homestead properties in Waimanalo after the historic flood nearly two weeks ago.

Lei Hanawahine's yard was once covered with green grass. But now, it's littered with large rocks.

"I think we had it the worst on the homestead. We had the worst one yet," she said.

Her home on Manawaiola Street turned into a river as her family used rocks to divert the water away from their home.

She called the Department of Hawaiian Homelands and on Thursday and state contractors came to clear the ditch next to her house. But they didn't help with the rocks.

So her family took it into their own hands to remove it.

"We are doing it on our own because if we are going to wait, we are going to wait forever," she said.

Down the hill at a home on Huli Street, the water went up to an inch at another homestead property.

"It really honestly looked like a whole river just coming back here," said Jaylyn Lapinad.

As the home was inundated with water, Lapinad and her two friends tried to keep eight children in the home away from the brown water.

"They didn't really understand what was happening. They were more excited, but for us we were scared for their safety," she said.

With fears of mold and an urgency to keep these keiki safe, the family installed new flooring in three days and plans to throw away roomfuls of furniture.

"Honestly we can't wait because I do have a daycare business because we pretty much got things on our own," said Lapinad's mother-in-law, Fran Makaneole.

These Waimanalo homesteaders say they're thankful the damage wasn't worse.

"It probably was a wake up call for everyone," she said.

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