Maui News


April 14, 2009, 9:29 AM HST
* Updated April 14, 10:40 AM
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Residents will get a chance this Thursday (April 16, 2009) to review proposed modifications to the Iao Stream Flood Control Project.  The existing Flood Control Project, completed in October of 1981, has experienced repeated erosion from high stream flows that has damaged the existing levees and stream channel invert, causing undermining and a gradual collapse.  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will host the information session this Thursday, April 16th beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the Velma McWayne Santos Community Center.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the county are conducting an Environmental Assessment to prevent further property damage and reduce flood damage to Wailuku Town.  According to the Draft EA, there are several residential and commercial structures along the right bank of the ‘Iao Stream Channelthat are in danger of being undercut if stream bank erosion continues, as is the heiau along the lower reach of the left bank.The document further states that the erosion caused by high flow events has been partially repaired with concrete rubble masonry, however these repairs have subsequently suffered from additional erosion as well.The DEA states that frequent repairs have proved to be costly and do not adequately address the problem.

Image Courtesy: Environet, Inc.

Image Courtesy: Environet, Inc.

New Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) rules require that existing levees obtain certification of their ability to withstand a 100-year frequency flood. A government agency responsible for levee construction or a Registered Professional Engineer must provide this certification. Since the Corps cannot certify the existing project as providing 100-year flood damage reduction in its present condition, the area adjacent the uncertified Iao Stream levees are expected to revert to a flood hazard area in Fall 2009. The proposed project modifications will meet the criteria for future certification by a registered engineer and accreditation by FEMA.

(Posted by Wendy OSHER © 2009)

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