Soldiers Help Clean-up Flood Damage

(KHNL) Teamwork between different state and city agencies are helping expedite the flood clean-up on the Windward coast.

"It's been making some progress," said Doug Kekona. "It's just dealing with the mud, the ground is all saturated."

Kekona's been a prisoner in his own home since the heavy downpour last Thursday.

About 20 truckloads of debris washed away the driveway to his home, right next to Crouching Lion. There's no way to drive in or out, so contractors with heavy equipment are working to stabilize the ground. "It's been touch and go since then," said Kekona. "But I've had a lot help, so we're doing okay for now."

Dozens of Hawaii National Guardsmen joined the clean-up effort Sunday. They hauled out branches, roots, and rocks from the stream-bed that runs next to the Kaaawa Fire Station. The run-off knocked out the foundation, breaking off chunks of ground. One guardsman says the damage there was similar to another natural disaster.

"Yeah Hurricane Iniki," said Maj. Robert Dongon, 154th Aircraft maintenance unit, of the Hawaii Air National Guard. "I was there in 92. I've been involved in a lot of the disaster preps before, and this is just a small area compared to the other storms that hit us." It was a small area, but state officials say the area suffered the most damage.

"Hopefully by the end of the day we should be able to clear it all out, at least the green area stuff," said Dongon. "The rubbish, the roots, and some of the tree trunks out here." Mayor Mufi Hannemann praised the cooperation and teamwork of residents, and the city and state workers. He also wanted to reassure the victims that assistance will be provided.