Flooding still a problem in Mapunapuna
I went to the Mapunapuna area to get my car after servicing and discovered flooding of the streets is caused by high tide! This did not make any sense, but I am sure there is some scientific explanation. How were buildings approved to be built in a high-density business area? I was told this is a common if not daily occurrence. There were several cars stalled in the middle of the road. Never had I experienced such an event on Oahu. It reminded me of Venice, Italy, at high tide. There should be some kind of a warning sign to strangers in the area to turn around and not proceed, as water was past the knees. You really cannot tell how deep the water is until you see someone walking in it, which we did after we were already in deep water and had no way to turn around.
Answer: As we explained previously -- see Kokua Line, Oct. 1, 2006 -- flooding in the Mapunapuna area is a long-standing problem that has spurred several lawsuits.
To date, nothing has yet been resolved legally, although city officials are hopeful they've finally figured out a way to control the continual flooding.
The basic problem is that the Mapunapuna area sits on unstable material used to fill what used to be swamp land.
Over the years, the resulting land area has sunk -- and continues to sink -- below sea level. When it's "moderate high tide," ocean water from Moanalua Stream back-flows from the state's drainage ditch into the city's drainage system, then spills out into the streets, especially at the intersection of Ahua and Kili hau streets.
In 2004, four Maryland-based companies that had purchased land in Mapunapuna from the Damon Estate sued the city over the flooding problems.
The case is in mediation to try and resolve the disputes, Eugene Lee, director of the city Department of Design and Construction, told us recently.
He said he couldn't say too much about the case except that "we believe there has been substantial prog ress in finding and implementing a viable engineering initiative that will significantly resolve the tidal flooding" that occurs at the Ahua-Kilihau intersection.
However, Lee said he didn't have a definitive schedule of when this might happen, although "we are in the latter stages of implementation."
Asked about the feasibility of posting warning signs, he said that action had been considered "and may be revisited depending on how all this unfolds."
Meanwhile, also still pending is the city's third-party claim against the state.
The city is alleging that the tidal flooding occurs because of the state's negligence, as related to the concrete drainage ditch in the area.
To the lady who found my wallet outside Kaimuki Times Supermarket and turned it in to the store. Your honesty is much appreciated. Thanks also to the Times' service desk for quickly notifying me that my wallet was found. I was unaware that it was missing when I got the call. Thanks to this lady and Times, I was saved from going through a lot of worry. -- S. Hee
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