Kauai streams damaged in floods to be restored
Last year's rain and subsequent dam burst led to the devastation
Three streams damaged by last year's heavy rain and the private land surrounding them will get a cleanup and restoration work, thanks to a $6.7 million joint federal-state project, officials said yesterday.
Private and public lands along Makaua Stream in Kaaawa as well as Wailapa and Kilauea streams on Kauai will be repaired and restored, and debris will be removed from the areas abutting the waterways, state Sen. Clayton Hee said yesterday.
"It's more than a cleanup," he added. "It's to restore the streams."
Federal funds totaling $5 million were authorized through the National Resource Conservation Service, while the state will put up another $1.7 million to complete the project.
The state funds were appropriated earlier this year through the Department of Land and Natural Resources, Hee added.
All three streams were badly damaged in February and March 2006 when more than 40 straight days of rain hit the state. The two streams on Kauai were damaged within a few minutes on March 14, 2006, when Ka Loko Dam burst. Landowners abutting those streams are already suing the state, as well as private landowners and Kauai County, for damages that the dam burst caused. Seven people died.
Contractors hired by the state will restore portions of Makaua Stream, stabilize the stream bank and remove debris, officials said.
The planning phase has already started, with construction to be completed by November 2008.
Landowners abutting the stream must allow the state to access and repair their private land. Community meetings explaining the project are planned, with the first at Kaaawa Elementary School cafeteria on Aug. 8, with more meetings on Kauai to follow.