Ala Moana residents question if sewer project sparked uptick in mosquitoes

Published: Dec. 1, 2015 at 2:08 AM HST|Updated: Dec. 1, 2015 at 4:24 AM HST
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Nichole Shintaku's daughter has been taking tennis lessons twice a week at Ala Moana park since early November.

"When we first started they weren't as bad," said Shintaku.

But over the past couple weeks there's been a change.

"Just today when we were here they were swarming our legs," said Shintaku.

Shintaku's not the only one that's noticed a difference.

"It seems worse on this side of the courts. My son got a mosquito bite on his face and leg and I got some," said Julie Sung.

"About a couple weeks ago the mosquitoes started to be prolific," said Jesse James.

James has lived in a high rise across the street from the park for six years.

"We moved here the infamous year it rained 43 days in a row and I never saw an increase in mosquito population.  That's one of the neat things about living near the water with trade winds in a high rise you're very rarely exposed to mosquitoes," said James.

The Department of Transportation confirms it has been working on a sewer project.  Although there was no standing water in the construction zone on Monday, there were large muddy areas that had obviously wet for some time.  DOT officials say they weren't aware of a mosquito problem but will look into it.

"I don't know if it directly comes from the situation across the street.  But it can't be helpful that's for sure," said James.

As the number of Dengue Fever cases rose to 112 Mayor Kirk Caldwell held a news conference this morning to discuss what the city is doing to prevent a potential  outbreak on Oahu.
"We're doing everything we can. And much of it, probably 3/4 of it depends on the people of this island,  one million strong, to dump out standing water," said Mayor Caldwell.

City officials say they have not sprayed for mosquitoes anywhere on Oahu.  However crews are working to clear standing water from certain areas.

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