New year forces some to clean-up more than just fireworks - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

New year forces some to clean-up more than just fireworks

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

KIPAPA (KHNL) - As many Hawaii residents spend their morning cleaning up all the red paper from fireworks, others are forced to deal with red mud in their yards and garages.

The first day of 2009 will be remembered by some for the torrential rains that swamped Kipapa Gulch late Wednesday afternoon, causing major flooding.

It was so bad, it forced authorities to shut down a portion of Kamehameha Highway during rush hour.

Michael Dau is the owner of Kipapa Acres. He and his tenants say this is the seventh time their homes have been flooded and the second time in three weeks. As they cleaned up Thursday, more questions than answers remain.

Instead of enjoying this first day of the new year, it was a day spent cleaning up the muddy mess for Robert Aspera and others who live in Kipapa Acres.

"We like to clean stuff up right away because the more we walk around, the more miserable we get, we get upset all the time," he said.

An imu filled with water Thursday, instead of a pig covered in rocks, shows how severe the flooding was Wednesday night.

"Hopefully if they clean that ditch, it will take the majority of water out of here and we won't be flooding as bad," Property owner Michael Dau said.

He hopes help will come soon.

"A contractor supposed to come out hopefully tomorrow (Friday) or the next day and they're going to try to clean the bottom ditch and we'll see where we can go from there," he said.

A new development that's expected to be built next year may help with the flooding.

Dau says the development's drainage system may prevent most of the water from coming down to their homes.

"I don't want houses right above me, but it would probably solve my flooding problem," he said.

An ongoing problem for Aspera whose home flooded just a few weeks ago on December 11th. At least Thursday night, he and his wife managed to keep the water out with plyboards and brooms.

"They should get on it right way, before somebody get hurt," Aspera said.

Castle & Cooke owns the lands above Kipapa Acres. Calls to the company were not returned.

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