East Oahu residents bring stories of flood loss to disaster recovery centers


What is the city doing to make sure homes aren’t flooded again?    

It’s the question some in east Oahu are asking after their property was damaged by the heavy rains and flooding.

City officials opened a Disaster Recovery Center Tuesday at Koko Head District Park. 

Betty Wong lives on Kalanianaole Highway. Wong started her business as a souvenir wholesaler in 1974. 

The 85 year old has been going strong for 44 years – until 2 weekends ago, when the nearby stream flooded her family’s home.

Much of her inventory is destroyed.

When asked how much she lost, she speculated about 40 thousand dollars. 

“I cannot count anymore because it’s so much!” said Wong. 

Wong and her daughter Nelia Macapinlac signed up for help at the Disaster Recovery Center.

“I hope it doesn’t flood again. Because the stream has to be maintained so it doesn’t happen again to the residents. (We don’t want it to) overflow. We’ve been there for a long time. Never happened. I think over 30 years,” said Macapinlac. 

Affected residents met with city and state agencies and the Red Cross. 

“A lot of them trying to clean their house after. There’s a lot of remediation for mold, they’re worried about the water being there, soaking and getting things dirty and moldy,” explained Mike Wurtz with the American Red Cross. 

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell stopped by to hear concerns. 

“What if anything, has the city done to ensure that, should there be another flood, the residents will be OK?” asked Brigette Namata. 

“You know, what we continually do and before this rain event, we clear our streams, bridges, and we lift things out. That kind of debris. But part of that is people do not dump into the streams. That kind of debris. But part of that is people do not dump into the streams. We have this ongoing issue, for green waste disposal  area. Even sometimes it’s white waste. We ask people, please don’t do that,” urged Caldwell. 

To report illegal dumping in streams, call the Clean Streams hotline at 808-768-7890. 

Recovery centers will be open at the following locations and times:

Tuesday, April 24, 2018, 12 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Koko Head District Park
423 Kaumakani Street, Honolulu, Hawai’i 96825

Wednesday, April 25, 2018, 12 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Waimānalo District Park
41-415 Hihimanu Street, Waimānalo, Hawai’i 96795

Thursday, April 26, 2018, 12 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Koko Head District Park
423 Kaumakani Street, Honolulu, Hawai’i 96825

State and city agencies and non-government organizations (NGOs), such as the American Red Cross, will provide information about available services and assistance. The following are the city, state, and non-government organizations that will be represented at the Disaster Recovery Centers:

City and County of Honolulu
Department of Emergency Management
650 South King Street
Honolulu, Hawai’i 96813
(808) 723-8960 Fax (808) 524-3439
Emergency Management Coordination

Budget and Fiscal Services Department
33 S. King Street, #101
Honolulu, Hawai’i 96813
(808) 768-3799
Real property tax remission

Department of Community Services
925 Dillingham Boulevard, Suite 200
Honolulu, Hawai’i 96817
Phone: (808) 768-7762 FAX: (808) 768-7792
Low Interest Disaster Rehabilitation Loans

Department of Planning and Permitting
650 S. King Street
Honolulu, Hawai’i 96813
(808) 768-8220 Fax (808) 527-6743
Disaster Related Permit Fee Waivers

State of Hawai’i
State Department of Land and Natural Resources
National Flood Insurance Program (DLNR NFIP)
1151 Punchbowl Street
Honolulu, Hawai’i. 96813
(808) 587-0400

State Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA)
335 Merchant St, Honolulu, HI 96813
(808) 587-3222
Guidance to file insurance claims and general insurance questions

State Department of Taxation
830 Punchbowl Street
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
Tax Relief Information

State Department of Health
1250 Punchbowl Street
Honolulu, HI. 96813
Mitigation on mold, sanitation and indoor health

State of Hawai’i – Hawai’i Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA)
3949 Diamond Head Road, Honolulu, Hawai’i 96816
(808) 733-4300
Emergency Management Coordination

State of Hawai’i
Hawai’i Department of Agriculture
1428 South King Street
Honolulu, Hawai’i 96814
Agricultural Loans

University of Hawai’i at Mānoa
College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources
Office of the Associate Dean and Associate Director for Cooperative Extension Service
3050 Maile Way, Gilmore 203B
Crop production expertise

Non-Government Organizations
American Red Cross Hawai’i State Chapter
4155 Diamond Head Road
Honolulu, Hawai’i 96816
(808) 734-2101
Emergency Supply Distribution and Recovery Information

‘Āina Haina Prepared (AHP) (Koko Head DRC only)
Manual labor cleaning, scrubbing, moving furniture on property.

Hawai’i Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (Hawai’i VOAD)
Manual labor to remove mud from interior and exterior of homes, transportation of large debris to C&C roll offs, mold remediation, emotional support

Building Industry Association of Hawaii (BIA)
94-487 Akoki St, Waipahu, HI 96797
(808) 847-4666
Assistance in locating a licensed contactor

Hawaii Small Business Development Center
2800 Woodlawn Dr #299, Honolulu, HI 96822
(808) 945-1430
Disaster Recovery Guide for Business

Residents visiting the Disaster Recovery Centers will first be registered and then invited to visit each of the participating organizations based on their particular needs. Residents should be prepared to provide some form of government issued identification, insurance information (if insured), as well as information regarding the damage and losses incurred to their residence and or business.

NOTE: If you are disabled and require access assistance or assistance with an interpreter or if you or someone you know needs language assistance, please call John M. Cummings III, Public Information Officer at 808-723-8938 or email at jcummings@honolulu.gov as soon as possible before your visit to the recovery center.

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