Dean Okimoto, owner of Nalo farms in Waimanalo, faces a financial setback after Friday night's rain washed away a dozen acres worth of his popular Nalo greens.
"We're trying to figure out how we're going to survive for the next month to pay our employees, to pay our bills," Okimoto said. "I think we planted 18 rows. So that's twice a week, so really that's 36 rows a week, and we probably had four weeks in the ground."
Now it's a waiting game until the fields are dry enough to plant again. which Okimoto said could be another 10 days if the rain stays away. Waiting for the land to dry, plowing, planting new seeds, and putting a temporary stop on sales could mean Okimoto loses hundreds of thousands of dollars because of the storm.
"The force of the river, I guess, that water that came down just messed up everything," said Dennis Takata, the beekeeper at Nalo Farms.
Takata said of his 100 hives, most were swept about 200 yards towards the ocean when the rains fell. He was initially told all of the hives were wiped out, but he only lost half along with hundreds of bees. Many bees drowned.
"We're still trying to salvage more of them but its going to be a lot of work," Takata said.
Okimoto and Takata both said they're reconsidering their farming practices in the event another massive storm hits their Waimanalo farm. Okimoto said he's looking at green houses and new technology, whereas Takata is considering raising his hives up. Any change is going to take money, which Okimoto hopes does not disappear when he can't deliver greens to his customers in the upcoming weeks.
"Hopefully our customers stay with us in the long run," he said. "One month without our product, they got to buy from someplace else, right?"
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