Hawaii residents continue to clean up following December’s Kona Low as experts warn of more strong storms in 2022

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HONOLULU (KHON2) — Some Pearl City residents are still picking up the pieces after the Kona Low swept through the islands leaving behind severe damage for some.

Chandra Sugetaya, a resident of Noelani Street, said her house was hit with waves of water.

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“The water went through the entire house, everything is damaged and we’re trying to save what we can,” said Sugetaya. “I couldn’t sleep for a couple days. I wasn’t eating and whenever it would rain I would worry about the drain.”

Residents said city crews told them that a blocked drain caused the flooding. The city told KHON2 that the drain is under state jurisdiction, but the state is deferring to the city. The Sugetaya’s just want to know how it is getting fixed.

“If this infrastructure is old, you need to upgrade it,” Sugetaya continued.

However, the issues are not just in Pearl City. The Leeward Coast is also looking for relief when it comes to flooding. State Rep. Cedric Gates is pushing legislation to address the issue.

“So we want to make sure that there’s oversight and that it’s also mandated that we properly manage these areas that are of great use and high concern for our residents,” said Rep. Cedric Gates, (D) District 44.

With more wet weather expected in 2022, experts said people need to be ready.

“As the planet warms, there’ll be more humidity available to fuel heavy rain like this,” said John Bravender of the National Weather Service. “So, we could see heavier events like this or more intense rainfalls and destructive flash flooding.”

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For the Sugetaya’s, they are hoping they do not have to go through another nightmare.

“If we’re going to keep getting more and more rain hopefully it’s taken care of,” Sugetaya said.

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