Kaimuki residents say the City isn't doing enough to help with flood issues

Kaimuki residents say the City isn't doing enough to help with flood issues
Updated: Feb. 13, 2017 at 9:52 PM HST
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KAIMUKI, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Kaimuki residents want answers after they say a nearby city drainage pipe became so clogged up, storm water overflowed on to their properties.

It happened on Saturday while Oahu was under a flash flood warning.

Corrie Uehara's backyard looked like a small lake. "Because of the ditch in front that nobody takes care of, everything overflows and comes pouring down my driveway into my garage and down my side," she said.

That ditch is a drainpipe located at the corner of 18th Avenue and Maunaloa Avenue.

It carries runoff from 11 city-owned catch basins. The flow runs downhill along Maunaloa Ave. and is supposed to continue underneath 18th Ave. and out the other side, but Uehara says debris and heavy vegetation often blocks its path, so water has no where else to go except over the road.

"We've been dealing with this for years now and we're just tired of it," Uehara said.

Uehara said the first time residents noticed the pipe was a problem was in October 2014 during a heavy downpour.

Her neighbor, Linda Knowles, sustained thousands of dollars worth of damage to her home.

"The state is supposed to protect our health and safety and it's not," Knowles said.

Knowles and at least five other Kaimuki residents said they've contacted city officials several times over the last two years to come clear the ditch, but the City says it's on private property, therefore can't do anything about it.

"What allows them to put all their water in the drain and not clean it?" asked Knowles.

City officials told Hawaii News Now on Monday that "the area of concern is private and while portions of the city system connect to it, the owner of the private property and private system is responsible for the maintenance, repair, and replacement as necessary."

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