Release: April 4, 2006
EMERGENCY WORK ORDERED AT KAILUA RESERVOIR
HONOLULU – Engineers from state and federal agencies have determined that recent erosion at the Kailua Reservoir has severely compromised the integrity of the dam and emergency action is necessary to protect life and property. Under a March 28th emergency proclamation by Governor Linda Lingle, the state is ordering the removal of a portion of the dam embankment so that rain water does not collect in the reservoir and the water can flow in a more natural pattern.
“Our foremost concern is public safety,” said Sandra Lee Kunimoto, Chairperson of the Hawaii Board of Agriculture. “It is imperative that we minimize the risk immediately before we experience more heavy rainfall in the area.”
Previous engineering studies and current assessments by state, federal and county officials support this action. Computer-generated dam break scenarios conducted recently by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers indicated that removal of a portion of the dam will make the area surrounding the reservoir and downstream of the reservoir safer.
Personnel from the Hawaii Department of Agriculture and State Civil Defense met with residents in the area this morning to update them on the situation, although the details of the work are still being finalized. Briefings were also held this morning with Senator Fred Hemmings, Representative Tommy Waters and a representative of Honolulu City Councilmember Barbara Marshall’s Office and they agree that public safety is the primary consideration.
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