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Army Corps of Engineers: Upgrade Iao stream flood control

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    Water was released into Iao Stream on Monday after having been diverted for a century for plantation irrigation.

WAILUKU >> The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is proposing new structures and diversions to protect the homes and business surrounding Iao Stream, which frequently floods.

The Maui News reports that three decades of floods have eroded the stream’s channel bed and levees. The proposed modifications would slow flows during storms by diverting water.

A draft environmental assessment from the Office of Environmental Quality Control says the water would be diverted to a naturally existing flood plain and other renovations.

The assessment says the Iao Stream Flood Control Project has prevented about $49.6 million in flood damage as of 2013. But the stream’s flow during storms has caused severe damage to the flood control system itself.

Construction on a 0.4-mile stretch of the stream is expected to take about 21 months.

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