Isle Guard to start work on Waimanalo reservoir
The Hawaii National Guard will begin emergency work tomorrow on the Kailua Reservoir in Waimanalo, according to a state Department of Agriculture news release.
"My assessment is that the structural integrity of the Kailua Reservoir dam is not sound," said Maj. Gen. Robert Lee, the state director of civil defense, in the written news release. "The priority now is to make sure that the reservoir drains whenever it rains so the reservoir does not endanger residents downstream."
Twelve families in Waimanalo evacuated their homes last Sunday as floodwaters threatened to top the dam.
As a temporary measure, about 30 Guard troops and heavy equipment will fill in and cap a sinkhole on the crest of the dam.
Engineers will also determine where to create a controlled breach of the dam, which will create a path for water to flow out of the reservoir.
Sandra Lee Kunimoto, chairwoman of the Hawaii Board of Agriculture, has requested $2.5 million from the Legislature to cover the cost of the work at Kailua Reservoir.
Engineers from the Army Corps of Engineers, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources and the Natural Resources Conservation Service have been working with the Department of Agriculture on evaluating what to do with the reservoir.
The Natural Resource Conservation Service is also being asked to plan and conduct any downstream changes in conjunction with the work on the reservoir.