Water utility not yet planning repairs to areas damaged by Kilauea eruption

Water utility not yet planning repairs to areas damaged by Kilauea eruption
This aerial photo shows a lava flow from fissure 8 crossing Pohoiki Road (Image: USGS)

HILO, Hawaii (AP) - A Hawaii water utility has no current plans to restore service to two areas damaged by the Kilauea volcano.

The Hawaii Herald-Tribune reported Sunday that the Hawaii County Department of Water Supply is not considering restoration of water service to Kapoho and the area around Pohoiki.

The department's chief engineer Keith Okamoto says they are not "shutting the door" on possible future restoration of service in Lower Puna, the Big Island area that lost more than 700 homes during the 2018 volcanic eruption.

Okamoto told county council members last week that restoration efforts would be cost prohibitive and current conditions are unsuitable for water infrastructure repairs.

Okamoto says two 100,000-gallon (378,530-liter) concrete reservoirs at Lanipuna Gardens and Kapoho are still standing but isolated by lava.

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