Palolo residents ‘on edge’ after rock wall collapses amid worsening erosion

Updated: Apr. 18, 2019 at 3:12 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Palolo residents say they’re on edge and worried about the safety of their homes after a sliding hillside caused a rock wall to collapse on Waiomao Road late Wednesday.

“I was just sitting on the couch watching TV and I heard a lot of rumbling under me and I looked outside and the wall just gave out. It was completely on the road and stuff," said Shaye Thorup,

Thorup, who has lived in the duplex for about five months, said he’s looking to relocate.

(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)

“I’m definitely worried ... it’s pretty crazy,” he said.

Laurie Chivers, who lives two doors down from the damaged rock wall, said she also heard a prolonged bang around 11:30 p.m. Wednesday.

“Given what’s happening in the neighborhood, I know something has collapsed in the neighborhood, close," she said.

“We’re all kind of on edge every time it rains. It’s really getting to be nerve wracking.”

During the past two years, Hawaii News Now has documented significant damage to more than a dozen homes in this quiet hillside community.

[Read more: City begins to condemn Palolo properties damaged by severe erosion]

But what’s unusual about the home where the rock wall collapsed is that it was built less than two years ago. Last month, the city issued a notice of violation to the owner for cracks in the wall that collapsed.

The city recently condemned several damaged homes on Waiomao and nearby Kuahea Street. They also plan to drive pilings and build large retaining walls as part of a long-term solution.

The stabilization project is expected to cost about $20 million and will take several years to complete. But area residents say they need the city’s help now.

“We have had land shifting and movement for a while now. But within the last six months, it has really drastically taken a turn for the worst,” said Liane Arakawa, who lives across the street from the damaged rock wall.

“For a while we couldn’t even drive out the driveway because of the land shifting.”

This story will be updated.

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