Aerial and underwater shots show molasses spill damageUPDATED 8:53 PM HST Sep 18, 2013Video Transcript
Two brand new perspectives on the quarter-million gallon molasses spill in Honolulu Harbor... One from above... and one from underwater showing the actual pipe that sprung the massive leak. Continuing coverage tonight... KITV-4's Andrew Pereira talked to state and federal leaders who are working on the cleanup .. A series of aerial photos of Keehi Lagoon shows how the molasses spill dissipated last week during a five day period. Those who live on the lagoon have also noticed the change, which includes large schools of small fish congregating near docks. ALEXANDRA RAY: "I'VE NOTICED YOU CAN SEE ACTUALLY THE KEELS OF THE BOTTOM OF THE SAIL BOATS, WHICH I WAS LIKE SUPER SURPRISED." During a conference call Wednesday led by Sen. Brian Schatz... SEN. BRIAN SCHATZ: "THANKS TO ALL OF THE CALLERS WHO ARE ANXIOUS TO KNOW WHAT'S HAPPENING IN HONOLULU HARBOR." ...federal and state officials had a similar assessment. RUTH YENDER: "FORTUNATELY AT THIS POINT, IT APPEARS THAT WATER QUALITY INCLUDING DISSOLVED OXYGEN LEVELS IN THE HONOLULU HARBOR AND MOST OF KEEHI LAGOON HAVE RETURNED TO NORMAL OR NEAR NORMAL LEVELS 348 LARGELY DUE TO THE NATURAL FLUSING." However that's NOT the case on the west side of Keehi Lagoon near the Reef Runway, where molasses could take longer to flush out. State and federal officials are currently huddled inside this Incident Response Center on Sand Island Access Road. A main focus right now is the sampling of the ocean bottom through a series of underwater dives. KEVIN FOSTER: "THE GOAL OF THESE DIVES IS TO ASSESS AFFECTED CORAL REEF COLONIES WITHIN THE HARBOR AND LAGOON IMPACT AREAS." Matson has already taken responsibility for the spill after this a pipe the company didn't even know existed burst. An underwater video shot by the U.S. Coast Guard Tuesday shows the barnacle encrusted pipe, but not much else. DIVER: "NO SIGNS OF ANY MOLASSES." Researchers at the Kewalo Marine Laboratory have already determined coral HAS suffered tremendous damaged, but federal officials continue to gather data. MICHAEL FRY: "I DON'T THINK THAT THERE'S BEEN REALLY ENOUGH OF AN ASSESSMENT ON THE BOTTOM. WE'VE SEEN A LOT OF INJURY TO TO CORAL." ANDREW PEREIRA: "HOWEVER, LONG AFTER THIS INCIDENT COMMAND CENTER SHUTS DOWN, THE QUESTION OF WHO WILL PAY FOR THE POSSIBLE RESTORATION OF CORAL IS AS MURKY AS THE HARBOR WATER ON THE FIRST DAY OF THE SPILL." MICHAEL FRY: "IT'S IN A GREY AREA IN TERMS OF FEDERAL LAW, SO WE'RE NOT QUITE SURE. THE STATE IS CERTAINLY IS INTERESTED IN PRESERVING AND PROTECTING THEIR RESOURCES, BUT WE'RE IN LIMBO IN TERMS OF KNOWING EXACTLY WHERE WE'RE GOING." Andrew Pereira, KITV4 News.