Aina Haina residents still cleaning up; urged to re-visit FEMA centers before closing

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It’s been three-and-a-half months since torrential rain devastated parts of East Oahu, and some Aina Haina residents are still cleaning up the mess. 

The destruction is still visible across streets in Aina Haina, as residents try to get back to a normal life. 

KHON2 spoke with long time resident Cap Perkins who says there’s a new project to work on every day.

“The storm was about an hour, and we were just left with mud in our entire house,” Perkins said. “Um, it’s a rather helpless feeling at 9 p.m. on a Friday night, can’t do anything.”

The bottom portion of his home was destroyed, with mud and water reaching up to two feet in certain spots. The process to fix it hasn’t been easy for many residents.

A resident said it took some insurance companies three weeks to inspect homes, causing residents to delay their remodeling process.

“Neighbors experienced the same (damage) next door; these folks have been gone since April 13, they’re having it remodeled but they’re renting elsewhere; the other house on other side is empty and this house over here was brand new, not even two weeks done,” Perkins added. 

Many residents say cleaning up the stream would help give them peace of mind.

“It appears that maintenance on the stream is sorely lacking,” he added. “We have to be vigilant now ourselves and be mindful that it will happen again if we get a torrential rain fall.” 

Cap said all of his neighbors went to the FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers in hopes of getting a grant to rebuild.

However, Cap said his grant was denied.

Residents who were denied are being urged to go back and try again before the recovery centers close for good on Saturday, July 28. 

Another resident said if you’re denied the first time, to go back, as he’s seen many success stories by returning. 

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