Red Cross, state help clean up storm damage


Parts of the state are still cleaning up the mess left by the remnants of Wali and for some, it could be months before life is back to normal.

A pile of furniture and personal belongings sits in front of Holly Smith’s home in Hauula.

“We won’t have a kitchen at all. It’s going to be replaced so we’re going to be roughing it out on the lanai,” Smith said.

Smith spent the day removing all the items in her house that were damaged by the storm.

“We grabbed the sandbags and put it in, but we just couldn’t stop it. It just kept coming. It went over the sandbags and went straight through the house,” she said.

With the help of a private company, she was able to remove most of the mud and water that flooded the bottom floor of her house, but she still has fans running non-stop. Water remains in her cabinets and dishwasher.

When asked to describe how she feels, Smith told KHON2, “Honey, now you’re going to start making me cry.”

Residents like Smith will be dealing with damage for weeks, if not months.

The storm hit the state Saturday, saturating much of the islands.

Even though Windward Oahu is used to the wet weather, dealing with the aftermath of a storm like Wali, is never easy.

That’s why the Hawaii Red Cross is helping with cleanup efforts, canvassing neighborhoods from Waiahole to Laie.

“We’re pleasantly surprised that a lot of people were prepared and if the water didn’t come through their house, they were able to handle it,” said Janice Olbrich, a volunteer for the Hawaii Red Cross.

For those who need assistance, Red Cross volunteers are offering clean-up kits. “It has buckets, sponges, mops, brooms and Clorox,” Olbrich said.

The state also continued with its cleanup work, focusing on the windward side of the island. At Waiahole, workers removed tree trunks and branches under the bridge. Crews did the same at Waikane and Punaluu Stream bridges.

Although Wali is gone, the mess it created will linger for awhile. Smith estimates $100,000 in damage to her home.

“I just want to curl up in bed and not look and let somebody else just clean it all up and walk out the bedroom and see a beautiful house again,” she said.

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