Water pipe break severely damages apartments - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Water pipe break severely damages apartments

Don Frick Don Frick

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

MAKAHA (KHNL) - An apartment left severely damaged after a major water main break sends torrents of water into the building. The 16-inch main, broke a little after 1:30 Friday morning on Kili Drive at Makaha Valley Towers on Oahu's Leeward Coast.

Close to 600 units were without water, but the most damage was to the apartment in the path of the gushing water main break. Kili Drive remains closed because of a huge sinkhole that has formed.

Board of Water Supply officials say it's still too early to tell what caused the 34-year-old pipe to burst.

It kept some residents of the Makaha Valley Towers busy Friday, trying to cope without water.

From the 19th floor of Don Frick's apartment, you can see the extensive damage done to these Makaha residences.

"I went to the window and saw this wall of water coming up from down below on the other side of Kili Drive going over the trees into the plantations and it was huge," he said.

Frick was typing an e-mail to a friend when he heard a loud, crackling sound.

"I called 911 and then I just watched to see what was going to happen," he said. "There wasn't anything I could do."

Crews were busy with repairs Friday on this 34-year-old pipe, while residents like Feiruz Garrison filled up at this tank. It's her 12th time since seven Friday morning.

"It's an inconvenience yes, but it could be worse, that's how I look at it," she said. "It could be worse, we're blessed that people have looked out for each other and that's how i found out who else needed help, other people told me."

Garrison also witnessed the big burst.

"I saw this gush of water going to the building and at first I thought the fire department was putting out a fire, but I was like, I don't see any flames, so why are they on the street putting out a fire because it was too dark to tell," she said.

As for the families who lived in this damaged building, the red cross is helping them out. Two families were displaced and up to four cars were damaged.

"I was thinking about what the people were thinking of, that lived there and how surprised they would be to all of sudden find water coming through their walls," Frick said.

Crews expect the repairs to take a long time. They must first fix the pipe, then seal it up again in concrete.

The Board of Water Supply is taking full responsibility for the damages.

They tell us they're reimbursing the families as well as the owners of the cars.

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