West Oahu residents still fear flooding, asking for debris cleanup - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

West Oahu residents still fear flooding, asking for debris cleanup

By Paul Drewes - bio | email and Joe Aikala

MAKAHA (KHNL) - The waters have receded, but fears of more flooding are still high for residents in West Oahu. They were swamped with stormwater after streams and rivers backedup and overflowed their banks.

"This was all flooded. There was no access from the house to the street," complained Chris Meyer of Makaha, who was caught off guard by the torrent of water that carried mud and filth through three homes on her property. "It shot down here and came in the side door, and then regressed back on this side, taking with it additional debris."

Her days since the flooding have involved lots of cleaning, and concern that this could happen again. Residents say the reason for the mud-filled waters rushing into properties during the downpours was because of blocked up streams and rivers. Those waterways are still full, and calls to clean them out have fallen on deaf ears.

Meyer said, "We're not as big taxpayers as other parts of the island, but we still are residents of Hawaii and things like this should not be ignored." Rains this weekend did not cause flooding for the area, but because debris still clogs the stream beds, concerned homeowners want something done before it is too late.

State representative Maile Shimabukuro (D-Waianae, Makaha) asserted, "This jam has been here ever since December 11's heavy rains, that caused this massive flooding." Representative Shimabukuro is not only among the residents calling for the city or state to clean the drains of trash and debris, she is also considering legislation next year to prohibit some industrial activities on agricultural land, and stiffer penalties for those who dump rubbish and materials in island streams.

Flood victims still needing assistance should call the city's assistance hotline at (808) 723-8944 or 723-8957.

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