Volunteers help clear debris from flood-ravaged Oahu streams - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Volunteers help clear debris from flood-ravaged Oahu streams

Ed Texeira Ed Texeira
Kawika Garcia Kawika Garcia
Ken Higginbotham Ken Higginbotham

By Roger Mari - bio | email

WAIANAE (KHNL) - It's been nearly two months since heavy rains flooded several parts of Oahu, causing substantial damage to homes and businesses. On Saturday about 50 people turned out to help clean out island streams.

Much of the damage was done when streams overflowed turning streets into rivers. The Leeward Coast was one of the areas hardest hit. A build up of debris in the Mailiili-Puuhulu caused a flood that damaged about 30 homes in Waianae.

"We took out a lot of collection points that were large trees that we used chain saws on that were along the banks," said Ed Teixeira of the Hawaii State Civil Defense.

Trees weren't the only things causing the blockage trash was found all over the stream bed.

"It takes everyone's efforts, one to keep clear and two, to help with clean up," said volunteer Edward Ganir.

Today the Hawaii State Civil Defense, Hawaii National Guard along with other volunteers spent hours clearing out the debris. They hope residents will monitor the stream on their own and continue to keep it clear.

"I like to give back to the community; I do this a lot on my own. I just go to the beach and pick up plastics and stuff," said volunteer Kawika Garcia.

Some of the volunteers were from the Federal Emergency Management Agency or FEMA It was clear to some that his cleanup was necessary to prevent another catastrophe from happening again.

"With this water way here, if there was more and more debris there it would just back up and cause more flooding to these homes in the area," said volunteer Ken Higginbotham.

Over two days, volunteers picked up four 30-yard containers of green waste, one container of mixed waste, and one container of metal.

Other streams that were cleaned up were in Laie and Haleiwa. Volunteers there cleared out 26 dump trucks full of debris.

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