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Hawaii News

Kalihi Stream neighbors return after being flooded by Darby

Some residents displaced five months ago by Tropical Storm Darby are back home in a Honolulu neighborhood.

The Aiello family moved back into Hale Umi Condominiums on Saturday, Hawaii News Now reported.

At least seven families had to evacuate when Kalihi Stream spilled over in July.

Joseph Aiello said at the time that water was waist-deep inside his condominium. The family waited for repairs to be completed while sharing a room at a relative’s house.

Appliances and furniture were donated. The condo now has new floors, doors and kitchen cabinets.

“It’s been a long journey but, you know, we’re here,” Aiello said.

The couple’s 12-year-old daughter, Zoe, is happy to have a room by herself again. “My bed is going to be where I’m standing, and I’m pretty sure my drawer is going to be right there,” she said.

The family wants the city to take steps to avoid a similar evacuation in the future, including keeping the stream clear of debris.

“Is it going to happen again?” Faith Aiello asked. “What do we do? Are we going to lose our stuff? I got to make sure my daughter is OK.”

City officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“It’s not our stream,” Joseph Aiello said. “We shouldn’t be living in fear.”

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    • How true…I grew up next to Kalihi Stream and saw it when it became a torrential river but it never overflowed but then at that time there were no junks or trash around. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen Kalihi Stream. I hope it’s not becoming a junk pile. So many happy memories there.

  • These units were built on the stream. It is a natural path of water. It would be impossible to monitor debris in this stream, as debris may have floated from the area known as “Ice ponds” at the top of Kalihi valley. There is zero evidence that debris caused the flooding versus the shear volume of water that had collected in the stream. I currently live along the banks of Kalihi stream and witnessed the volume of water flowing down the stream, which I estimated at 1 Olympic size swimming pool every 2 seconds. Yes, it is not your stream but you choose to live near a stream. Just as others choose to live on a beach, with erosion during a winter swell. We all live with nature and “acts of God”. Kalihi Stream existed way before those units were built. If anyone is to blame it would be the builders of the condominium, who built so close to a stream.

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