North Shore Residents Voice Concerns on Erosion

HALEIWA (KHNL) - A viewer called in to tell us about erosion, sedimentation, and flooding causing problems in an Oahu North Shore community. In this talk story segment we talk to residents facing serious health and safety issues in Haleiwa.

Emily Chun and her neighbors live in a quiet, but constant fear.

"I'm afraid, period, said Chun, a Haleiwa resident."

"You just have to take it with every grain of salt, because it will happen, probably. Hopefully not, said Dan Gora, another Haleiwa resident."

"My concern is, I'm concerned about my area here. Its going to be all flooded and then what's going to happen?" Asked Chun.

They've seen tragedy strike low-lying areas before, and are scared they could be next.

"Who knows what will happen," said Gora. "We've read some things in the news, in Kauai so its possible here. And millions of gallons stored up at Lake Wilson, if it comes down here, people estimate it will take maybe about 5 minutes."

"Emily and Dan both remember when a quonset hut was ripped from it's foundation, and carried nearly a mile downstream. Today, the eart at the same stream is eroding dangerously close to the back of the Haleiwa Shingon mission."

Scientist say sediment plugging stream mouths contributes to the flooding.

"It could very seriously be like Katrina," said Dr. Pamela Mills-Packo, an environmental scientist. "We have already had loss of life because of broken reservoirs and broken dams. And we haven't even talked about getting a hurricane."

These concerned citizens are trying to address the problem -- before its too late. An information exchange will take place this weekend. On Saturday, Dr. Mills-Packo and University of Hawaii professors will conduct a flood and watershed workshop tour from 9:30 to noon at the Shingon Mission.