State unveils Makaha flood study

State unveils Makaha flood study
Published: Mar. 26, 2014 at 3:30 AM HST
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The great flood of 2008 dumped more than 12 inches of rain in a single day into Makaha Valley, forcing mud, water and debris through nearby homes and roads.

Six years later, the state is unveiling a new study which concluded that found that there are no easy and inexpensive solutions.

"No easy fixes because there has been a lot of development. It has changed the way the water flows in the valley and a lot of places we can't change it back to what it once was," said Bruce Tsuchida, principal planner at Townscape Inc.

State officials and area lawmakers met with community members Tuesday night at Waianae District Park to discuss some of the reports findings.

Key among them, is that many of the berms and canals used to control the flow of water are badly maintained.

"Those ditches and what we call her those berm systems behind Manaoulu Estates and Makaha Towers need to be improved," Tsuchida said.

"We've got to put in some flood channels there to hold the flood water so it doesn't pill out and flood all of the houses."

Some blame overdevelopment.

"We've had encroachment of machines for a board of water supply area going into there knocking down the berms," said former City Councilman John De Soto.

"Instead of the natural flows of water, it comes down to some of the neighbors and residences."

Quick fixes include better landscaping and stream clean ups to keep the waterways clear, said state Rep. Jo Jordan, D-Makaha.

But permanent relief will likely require a new canal to be built which would take several years and cost several million dollars.

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