HONOLULU (KHON2) — Powerful gusts in early March sent an ironwood tree crashing down in Waimanalo.
“Came back from the beach and came back to this,” said Mark Petritz, a Waimanalo resident.
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A week later, the tree was still there, hanging over a portion of Petritz’s yard, crushing his fence and part of his neighbor’s fence.
“It’s literally just resting on bamboo that’s continuing to lean or fail so is it going to cause further damage to my house and it’s unknown if it’s going to roll this way or onto the street,” said Petritz.
“Kind of says it all right here — and who’s responsibility is this tree?” asked Bryan Akiona, a Waimanalo resident.
That’s been a question for years.
According to the City, there was a dispute over who owned the tree and in 2019 a survey was conducted to determine the property lines. The survey found that the tree was located in the middle of two private property lines and City property, making it an unusual situation.
Residents said those results were never communicated clearly to them. Meanwhile, Petritz called various City departments over the last week.
“I mean waiting a week for a response of any kind, no email, not even a text message or phone call it’s very frustrating,” Petritz said.
KHON2 made calls out to the City on Thursday morning and by Thursday afternoon a crew was sent out to Ehukai Street to take care of the problem.
KHON2 got answers from the City on the confusion. The City said, the delay was due to the homeowner reporting the tree down on Ehukai Street, but the City’s inventory showed Nenue Street.
The City added that it didn’t realize the home was on a corner lot, including both streets. The City sincerely apologized to the homeowner.
“I’m just grateful for you guys to kick the tires and light the fires and make it all happen. It shouldn’t take this long, but I appreciate your help in getting it done,” Petritz said.
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The homeowner can now file a claim with the City for damage caused to the fence.