$2M more will help fix ditch in Kohala
HILO » The U.S. Department of Agriculture has released $2 million for repair of damage to the Kohala irrigation ditch caused by the earthquakes of Oct. 15, said Lorraine Shin, the Hawaii director for rural development of the department.
The money will be combined with $500,000 from the state, $500,000 from Hawaii County, $292,000 from Kamehameha Schools and $200,000 from private sources, Shin said.
Damage to the 22.5-mile ditch has left 500 residents without a reliable water supply, she said.
The damage has created a "near crisis" for agricultural businesses, she said.
The ditch is owned by Surety Kohala Corp., but the company said it never made money from the 102-year-old waterway, so it could not afford to repair it using its own resources.