Honolulu City Council urges creation of stream-cleaning schedule

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File – Water rushes through the Waihona Stream, Pearl City, Hawaii, March 10, 2021.

HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Honolulu City Council unanimously passed legislation on Wednesday, May 5, that urges the City administration to create a schedule for cleaning city-owned streams and non-stream drainage infrastructure.

The resolution, introduced by councilmember Heidi Tsuneyoshi and chair Tommy Waters, describes damaging flooding events on Oahu that were caused by intense rainfall events.

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The heavy flooding that occurred in March 2021 is brought up in the legislation. Councilmember Tsuneyoshi says North Shore and Windward residents have suffered for far too long.

“The people of my district, on the North Shore and along the Windward Coast have suffered far too much and for far too long,” councilmember Tsuneyoshi said, “Regular maintenance of City streams and floodways is a government responsibility – and we owe it to our people to take care of them – not just now, but going forward.”

The measure cites a lack of personnel as the main challenge in providing effective stream maintenance. According to the City Council, only one crew of five people services all of Oahu’s streams — along with other duties.

“This measure is part of a larger initiative by the City Council to ensure that O‘ahu’s streams are maintained, to mitigate the risk to residential neighborhoods from ‘rain bombs’ and other impacts of climate change,” chair Walters said. “This is about keeping our communities and our residents safe.”

Click here to read Resolution 21-77.

Click here for a list of resources for Hawaii residents impacted by the flooding in March 2021.

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