In Kahaluu, a giant tree that fell into the stream has residents worried about the next big rain

Kahaluu residents want a fallen tree removed because it's blocking a stream that could flood in the next big rain.
Published: Mar. 12, 2023 at 5:12 PM HST|Updated: Mar. 12, 2023 at 9:51 PM HST

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Windward Oahu neighborhood is pleading for help to get rid of a toppled tree following several weeks of heavy rain and wind.

Kalama Chock said recent storms knocked over the giant tree in his backyard last week Sunday.

He and his neighbor are hoping to have it removed before the next big rain comes because they fear it could block the flow of water.

“If anything was to come, more water would come, it would block right up there and then start eating the way this and this will go away and then the house would slide in,” said Chock.

Neighbor Glenn Martin said if the tree isn’t removed, he fears the waters will rise and undermine his property.

Martin said his lower deck could end up in the stream next.

“And for the water to go over that tree is going to come up more than four feet so this deck is definitely in the danger zone,” said Martin. “Well I’m not going to be happy losing it.”

Both Chock and Martin said they’ve been reaching out to the city and state for help.

“It’s been frustrating because it’s been punted back and forth,” said Chock.

State Sen. Brenton Awa said the Department and of Land and Natural Resources confirmed that the tree is on private property, but there is a statute that allows the city to go into the stream and remove the tree.

“We’ve yet to ask the city if they’ll do that, we’re going to do that first thing tomorrow morning,” said Awa. “If the city doesn’t do that, and we’re stuck with no city, no state, then hey, viewers tonight watching ... calling on the community in the Kahaluu area, you got your chainsaws, come up, we’ll do it ourselves.”

“This is not only going to affect me, but also to affect people downstream and upstream of me,” said Chock. “So we want everybody to kind of laulima and come in to solve this problem together.”

Hawaii News Now reached out to DLNR and the city and are waiting to hear back.