A week after Olivia, West Maui is still cleaning up — and assessing the damage

Maui County still tallying up storm damage one week after Olivia
Updated: Sep. 19, 2018 at 5:39 PM HST
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Honokohau Valley, Maui - One week after Olivia battered West Maui, authorities are still calculating the losses from the storm.

Officials from the Maui Emergency Management Agency will be heading to Honokohau Valley on Saturday to continue doing damage assessments. Volunteers will also return this weekend to remove more debris from the land and the stream so that families can rebuild.

Flash flooding changed the landscape of the valley on Sept. 12.

The Losano family lived in three small buildings. One bedroom was swept away during the storm. Another bedroom moved several hundred feet. Even though it's still standing, along with the family's kitchen, the structures are unusable and will have to be demolished.

"It's going to be a long road, but we've got a beautiful community to support us," Honokohau Valley resident Gretchen Losano said.

County officials said they received 65 reports of storm damage on the Valley Isle, from minor damage to complete destruction.

Thirty-four of those reports are from Honokohau Valley. 20 assessments have already been done out there, according to the county.

"Everything is water damaged. You can't salvage any of that. All that's done. It's mold, mildew at this point," said Ashley Webb, creator of the Maui Fire, Flood, Disaster Relief Group.

There is still no water service in the valley as county crews try to fix a broken waterline. The estimate for repairs is about $100,000. The county said it has provided water wagons as well as dumpsters for debris.

The volunteer group that was created after last month's West Maui wildfires is now looking for manpower to help with future cleanups.

"We can give donations all day long and money all day long, but at the end of the day, we need physical bodies to come in there and help move all this along," said Webb.

Losano said that volunteers helped to clear away the debris that ended up on her family's property.

"They like literally caught us while we were falling and set us back up on our feet and said, 'No, no, no. We're good. You guys are going to be good. Let's just do this together,'" she said.

The storm also damaged Lower Honoapiilani Road in Kahana. The roadway has now been fixed at a cost of about $100,000, according to the county.

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