Halawa residents concerned with ongoing flooding issues at Webling Elementary
Residents and officials combined are concerned with a long-standing flooding problem in front Gustav Webling Elementary School in Aiea.
AIEA, Hawaii - Whenever there's heavy rain, the entrance to an elementary school in Halawa gets flooded.
State Representative Matthew LoPresti of Ewa Beach is a father of two students attending Webling Elementary School. His concerns come as a parent.
"Every day it rains, it gets backed up like this and you can't access the school without walking through muddy stream, it's unacceptable," LoPresti said.
LoPresti hasn't just been fighting to find a fix to the flooding as a lawmaker, but as a parent.
"The kids want this fixed. My feet are still wet and I'm sure there's kids all in that school who still have wet socks and shoes," LoPresti said.
After a downpour, drop-off days turn into a muddy mess, one crew ends up cleaning up...
"It's wasting enormous resources today alone, there's 20 workers out there trying to fix this with dump trucks and water trucks with heavy equipment and at least five other city vehicles that I could count. This happens every time it rains, it's cheaper to fix the problem they need to just fix it," LoPresti said.
LoPresti says he started the conversation seeking a solution back in 2016.
"You got the city storm drain the DOE and the Navy land and you've got this run-off and easement that's been there for decades," LoPresti said.
But with the different players involved, coming up with an answer hasn't been easy.
"It's just been back-and-forth people pointing it's their property, it's their sewer, it's their school and I am just as a dad, I'm fed up and we need to get it fixed, and I need to just sit down and do it," LoPresti said.
When the problems are left unsolved, LoPresti says everyone suffers.
"If they just go out to the leaders, just go out and see it for themselves, they'll see the real problems in this community and then maybe they'll do something," LoPresti said.
Island News reached out to Naval Facilities on the issue, their response...
"The Navy has also responded to area residents and Webling Elementary calls, email and texts reporting various problems and worked with them to protect their property, providing temporary solutions as the weather has permitted. A local engineering firm is currently designing the utilities upgrades and permanent erosion control measures. After the design is complete, a construction project will install the new utilities and provide improved erosion protection."