AINA HAINA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - When restoration crews ripped up the carpet in parts of Jim and Joan Yamashita's Aina Haina home, they couldn't believe what was growing beneath: black mold.
"I was very devastated to tell you the truth," Jim Yamashita said.
"I was stunned and shocked that mold could grow underneath the floor because when you look at it from the top, it looked like nothing was wrong," Joan added.
But something was in fact wrong, and it was making Mrs. Yamashita sick.
Experts say mold affects people in different ways, but elderly, children and pets are more vulnerable.
Flood victims should be sure to check their home for mold growing in hidden areas to prevent health complications.
With the Yamashita's family on the mainland and age and health issues slowing them down, they couldn't clean it by themselves immediately.
Nearly three weeks after the severe flooding, they finally found a restoration crew to do the job.
"Both of us are not in the best of shape but we are both trying to hang in there," said Mr. Yamashita.
The removal process includes air scrubbers, chemicals, a HEPA vacuum, sanding and tests. Crews will also need to set up a decontamination chamber for themselves.
For their one room, the work could cost up to $3,400 out of pocket. The Yamashita's FEMA told them it could help with some structural damage and volunteers helped with initial cleaning this past weekend.
"They did the whole house in an hour and a half and I'm so appreciative. I could not have done it without them," Mrs. Yamashita said.