Hale Umi residents return home to repaired units, new beds

It’s been a long five months for residents of Hale Umi condominiums, but they’re finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Nine units in the Kalihi building were destroyed in July after a nearby stream overflowed during Tropical Storm Darby.

This weekend, families were allowed to return home to see their units, which had to undergo extensive repairs, and soon they’ll be able to move back in.

Resident Leslie Awana says the recovery has been rough. “We’ve had to downsize from a three-bedroom to a studio. We’re all kind of living on top of each other basically,” she said.

Keiki O Ka Aina has been helping to coordinate donations from the community to help them rebuild.

“They had to replenish everything, redo everything, the floors, the cabinets, the walls, everything had to be redone,” said Momi Akana of Keiki O Ka Aina. “The day is finally here. After all these months, the families at Umi Street are now able to move back in. All the generosity of so many different places have made this a dream come true for them.”

On Monday, C. S. Wo & Sons brought in 20 beds, all brand-new. The community also helped to raise about $30,000 for the families, and a number of other companies also stepped up to help.

“There were a lot of people who made this happen, a lot of really great contractors, and thank you to Best Buy who gave them a really great deal on their appliances, Coastal Windows who helped with all the doors and windows, and several other contractors,” Akana said. “Thank you to Hawaii for being so kind and donating.”


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