Keehi Lagoon to reopen Saturday following molasses spill

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It’s been a week since Keehi Lagoon was closed because of the molasses spill, but oceangoers and thrill-craft businesses won’t have to wait much longer.

State officials will remove warning signs on Saturday, giving the all clear.

The state did another flyover Friday and saw the discoloration from the molasses spill has pretty much disappeared.

Since the spill, two jet ski operations were forced to halt tours.

For one company, that meant financial losses totaling $2,000 a day, or about $15,000 total. It also had to put three employees out of work.

But after Friday’s announcement, they started booking tours for the weekend and canoe paddlers are getting their outriggers ready.

“We are stoked! We’ve been losing business because of this bill. I just got off the phone with these jet skis. We got to book four new jest skis today,” said Keone Mattos, X-treme Parasail and Jet Ski.

“You just have to believe in faith and believe in what they’re saying, that it’s okay, you know. If they say it’s okay, then it’s okay for us, you know. We’re not gonna stop going out there. I’m just glad someone’s taking care of the situation,” paddler Kevin Mokuahi said.

The Department of Health says water samples now show that oxygen levels are back to previous levels.

Underwater divers report there is no black layer of goo on the ocean floor.

Although the water looks better, damage from the spill is lasting and it will take a lot longer for ocean life and fish populations to recover.

A total cost of the damage is not yet known.

Related story: Matson first notified of molasses leak in 2012

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