City, residents clean up after Kailua water main mess

Crews repair Kailua Rd. after a water main break.

City crews and Kailua residents spent Friday cleaning up after a broken water main turned Kailua Rd. into a gushing river the night before.

The 10-inch, 70-year-old water main broke around 5:15 p.m. causing residents and neighbors to spring into action.

“I came and, oh my goodness, it was flowing in here like a stream,” said resident Sister John Joseph Gilligan. “I went and got the blocks from the sidewalk in the back and it put it up along the driveway there.”

Water flooded six yards and made its way into two homes.

“All the carpets and everything are saturated because it was like eight inches of water on the floor,” said house guest Dorothy Hall.

The damage meant Hall and her family had no where to go and no place to stay, but a good Samaritan across the street offered them a place to sleep for their last night in Hawaii.

The Board of Water Supply says the troubleshooter was called at 5:30 p.m. during traffic and it took an hour to turn off the water. That’s because once on site, the process to turn everything off takes time. The troubleshooter has to evaluate the size and age of the main, confirm which valve it is, then slowly close the valves to prevent a pressure surge which could in turn cause another break.

The Board of Water Supply says it is currently putting together a 30-year-plan to deal with Oahu’s aging water pipes. It says the water main that broke Thursday night is not currently on its list of mains to be replaced.

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