Kauai Homeowner Talks About the Ka Loko Reservoir Break

Bruce Fehring
Bruce Fehring
The Ka Loko reservoir break created a large swath of destruction on Kauai.
The Ka Loko reservoir break created a large swath of destruction on Kauai.

KAUAI (KHNL) - Bruce Fehring says his family is strong and tight-knit, but it is dealing with the fact that he lost part of his family in an event he says should have never happened.

The event was the Ka Loko dam break on Kauai on March 14th. His home downstream was swept away, taking his daughter Aurora Fehring-Dingwall, his son-in-law Alan Dingwall, and his grandson Rowan. Four others were also killed.

"What occurred was not an act of nature, it was a failure by man," said Fehring.

Fehring says Governor Linda Lingle admitted to him that the state never inspected the dam and reservoir, like it was supposed to do.

The state is looking into what happened, but Fehring is demanding that an independent investigation take place, because he says the state could be held liable.

"Now is the time to seek the truth," said Fehring. "The whole truth and to do so in a vigorous, determined, and untainted manner as possible."

Attorney General Mark Bennett says it would be counter-productive to have two separate investigations going on at the same time, being run by different people, possibly with conflicting purposes.

Hawaii Congressman Neil Abercrombie disagrees.

"Because he is a competent and thorough person he's going to have to start advising members of the administration on what they should do and not do," said Abercrombie.

Many feel an independent investigation is needed to protect everyone in the state, not just those victims of the Ka Loko break.

"All Hawaii has streams coming down from everywhere and they all should be maintained so that everybody can feel safe," said John Hawthorne, of the group Dam Mad.

The group is also demanding an independent investigation.

"Nobody has to ever suffer someone losing their kids to an event like this," said Hawthorne.

Abercrombie says an independent investigation should start immediately, so that critical evidence isn't lost. But, he said he had "no idea" on who should be in charge.

"Measures should be taken so that this never happens again," said Fehring.