HONOLULU (KHON2) — More Moanalua residents are raising safety concerns over boulders possibly crashing into their homes. Some of the residents have come dangerously close to tragedy.
Colleen Kimura and her family woke up late one night in January after a loud crash and discovered massive boulders stopping just a few inches from her house.
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“I was a little just numb at first, almost disbelief that that should happen,” Kimura said.
She said smaller boulders have rolled into her property before so she put up metal fencing. But that was no match for the latest incident. The hillside is owned by Tripler Army Medical Center.
Kimura has reached out to the Army a few times, even sending pictures of the damage. But she said, so far, there’s been no response.
She’s spoken with engineers and other experts and was told that water is eroding the soil on the hillside, causing the rocks to fall.
“I strongly feel that they are responsible for the drainage system that diverts much of the water,” said Kimura.
Many of her neighbors have the same concerns, pointing out that some of their walls are buckling from the rush of water when it rains. And it’s not just boulders that worry them.
“The trees, the top of the trees are tall enough that if they get toppled over, they fall over and hit our property. It’s not the property, it’s the kids sleeping in the rooms,” said resident Tom Lindsey.
State Sen. Donna Mercado Kim said she has reached out to US Sen. Brian Schatz to ask for funding to address the problem. She wants Schatz and someone from the Army to join her and visit the homes in the area. She’s also asking the Army Corps of Engineers to do an aerial assessment of the hillsides.
“This is real, the threat is there, and I think people just can’t feel safe in their own home and that’s really sad,” said Kim.
“It’s really not a good thing to live with, to be fearful of the rainy season,” said Kimura.
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Another Moanalua resident raised concerns about boulders on a hillside above his home on Thursday. On Friday the Army sent a statement saying, “The Army is willing to meet with elected leaders to discuss potential solutions… We look forward to working with local leaders who are addressing this issue.”