Boulder crashes into home, neighbors call for enforcement - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Boulder crashes into home, neighbors call for enforcement

Bud Johnstone Bud Johnstone
John Harrison John Harrison
The one-ton boulder rolled down the hill into Bud Johnstone's home The one-ton boulder rolled down the hill into Bud Johnstone's home
Neighbors suspect that construction activity above their homes may have led to the boulder drop Neighbors suspect that construction activity above their homes may have led to the boulder drop

By Zahid Arab - bio | email

NUUANU VALLEY (KHNL) - A big boulder rolls down a steep hill, bashing into a side of this Nu'uanu Valley home.

While no one was hurt, area residents say they're worried the worse is yet to come. It's a debate that dates back decades, neighborhood homes calling for strict regulations when it comes to area construction.

The terrain is full of steep hills and that means heightened risk of natural debris like rocks and other objects threatening their safety.

They've been going back and forth, pleading with the city to increase enforcement on new hillside construction, but they hope Wednesday's incident with the boulder gets the ball rolling on a renewed effort to protect area properties.

"It came down the hillside and slammed into our house here," said Homeowner Bud Johnstone.

Bud Johnstone describes how a one ton plus boulder barreled into his Nu'uanu Valley home Wednesday afternoon.

"It's popped the structural frame of the house," said Johnstone.

Destruction to his house is estimated in the thousands.

"I think it's a verification of concerns we've voiced repeatedly," said Neighborhood Board Member John Harrison.

Neighborhood members say the 45-acre parcel of land is being developed by Nan Incorporated.

With the area steep, a 50-degree slope is considered safe. But, the problem is some companies have significantly altered that.

Despite the damage, crews continue to work. They even tried to come down and remove the rock. But, we wanted to find out the company's side of the story from contractor Patrick Shin.

"Hi. This is Zahid Arab, I was wondering if I can speak to Mr. Shin," said Zahid Arab.

"He's not in the office, I can give you his cell phone number," said Nan Incorporated Receptionist.

"Hi, mr. Shin? This is Zahid Arab with Khnl/K-5 News. Are you with the construction company?," said Arab.

"No, you have the wrong number," said the caller.

Back to square one, but something doesn't seem right.

"I just called the number that you gave me and he said it wasn't him, but that's him?," said Arab.

"Yeah that's him. I don't know if he's screening his calls," said the receptionist.

That's his silver truck, so we decide to wait. Someone peaks out, but we never see him again.

"He is continuing to work up there without regard to what has just happened, showing no respect to the community. All he cares about is pushing around the hillside," said Johnstone.

Insurance adjusters will check out the damage. As for homeowners, they say they've tried to contact the city for help in this matter. They've gotten no where but say they aren't giving up.

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