Aina Haina couple thinks mold "is spreading" in flood damaged home

AINA HAINA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Two weeks after the flood, there's a layer of dust in the Yamashita's Aina Haina home and white spots are growing in their pantry.

"I'm coughing. There's something in the air, but I don't know what it is, said Joan Yamashita, 74.

Two days after the flood, Yamashita was mopping the receding water when she got sick.

"I started feeling really dizzy. I almost fainted then I started throwing up," she said.

Now she's coughing and worried about something toxic in the air. Experts say mold and mildew can set in 24 to 48 hours after a flood and everything the water has touched, should be tossed. Yamashita and her husband, Jim, 76, who uses a walker have done some cleaning, but can't move or see what could be behind the heavy kitchen appliances.

"It's spreading. At first I thought it was mold, but I'm not an expert," said Mrs. Yamashita.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell, Environmental Services Director, Lori Kahikina and Deputy Director, Timothy Houghton, visited flood damaged homes Friday including the Yamashita's.

"I heard glub, glub, glub. I looked out the door and I opened the door and it came. Woah! The deluge came in," said Mrs. Yamashita who's family is on the mainland.

Caldwell called the state health director to see if anything could be done.

"I'm hoping they will hear from the State Department of Health as to what it is. They come up and test and let people know," he said.

Danny Tengan, a former state civil defense planner, is organizing 50 volunteers this Saturday to clean four Aina Haina homes including the Yamashita's. He thinks their home is livable for now.

"I'm not an expert, it is, but if they continue to live in it, they will have respiratory problems.

Volunteers can show up for tomorrow's clean up at 8:30 a.m. at Aina Haina shopping Center and 9:30 a.m. at Niu Valley Shopping Center.

Copyright 2018 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.