Flood relief for Aina Haina neighborhood

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Help is on the way for an East Oahu neighborhood plagued with flooding problems.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie released money that will help the drainage issue on Wailupe Place.

Russell Ogawa and his son take advantage of the sunshine and dry conditions in front of their house. However, heavy rains flooded the area of Aina Haina.

“The manhole covers come popping up and the water comes draining onto our street,” Ogawa said. “It’s usually kind of brown and dirty water.”

People who live on Wailupe Place say it constantly floods, with water seeping into cars and homes.

“It’s something the neighbors have had to put up with for many years now because of the shape and engineering of the drainage,” Honolulu City Councilmember Stanley Chang said.

On Thursday, the governor announced the release of more than $21 million for Capital Improvement Projects for state airports and highways.

More than $300,000 will go towards the design of a better drainage system for Aina Haina neighborhood.

The state Department of Transportation says the new system could include larger pipes and a straighter drainage route, all to help the water flow during heavy rains.

“Oh it’s great and hopefully everything comes through,” Ogawa said.

Residents of this private road have waited years for a solution. Part of the reason why is because it wasn’t clear which agency was responsible.

“We have problems like that where we have joint ownership or we have private ownership but it all connects with a major, public thoroughfare,” Republican Sen. Sam Slom of Hawaii Kai, Aina Haina said.

Neighbors say they’re just relieved that the problem will be fixed and they won’t have to deal with this mess.

The design of a new drainage system won’t begin until 2014 and the construction will start in late 2015.

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