A day after Tropical Storm Darby hit Honolulu, 13 TheHandi-Van buses were out of commission, thousands of gallons of wastewater was spilled and highly used roads were still closed.

The tropical storm dumped at least 7 inches of rain on some parts of Oahu, flooding a Hawaiian Electric Co. power substation, Fort Street Mall Satellite City Hall and the H-1 freeway.

State and city officials spent hours Monday clearing debris from Kamehameha Highway near Middle Street. Ross Sasamura, director of the city Department of Facility Maintenance, said the pile-up of debris underscored the need for property owners and businesses to ensure that large tree branches and litter don’t fall into Oahu streams, because they can be carried downhill in heavy rains.

Clean up crews remove debris on the Kalihi River at Kamehameha Highway and Middle Street after Tropical Storm Darby.
Clean up crews remove debris after Tropical Storm Darby. Anthony Quintano / Civil Beat

Tim Sakahara, spokesman for the Department of Transportation, said on Monday afternoon that he hoped the cleanup work could be completed by evening. The agency tweeted at 3:37 p.m. that one westbound lane on Dillingham Boulevard was open but crews were still cleaning debris from Kalihi Stream.

Roger Morton, head of Oahu Transit Services, said 13 city buses for disabled people are out of commission this week after getting flooded Sunday evening while parked at the Middle Street transit center. He doesn’t know exactly when they will be back up and running but hopes that will occur within a week after the city orders and receives new parts.

That could cause delays for people who rely on the vehicles, known as TheHandi-Van buses.

Tens of thousands of gallons of wastewater also spilled in nine separate incidents as a result of the storm. Department of Environmental Services Director Lori Kahikina said the city’s sewer system is not built for the volume of water that entered the wastewater pipes last night.

She warned people against improperly draining water into the system, such as through rain gutters. Overflowing manholes at the intersection of Atkinson Drive and Ala Moana Boulevard resulted in nearly 10,000 gallons of wastewater discharged, Kahikina said.

Debris piled up along Kamehameha Highway after Tropical Storm Darby.
Debris was piled up along Kamehameha Highway after Tropical Storm Darby. Anthony Quintano / Civil Beat

The largest spill was at the Ahuimanu Pretreatment Facility, where about 50,000 gallons spilled within the plant and was cleaned up. The city avoided repeating last year’s massive sewer spill, in which half a million gallons of wastewater spilled into the waters off Waikiki, by ensuring that no construction occurred over the weekend that the storm was expected.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell praised city employees for their work during and after the storm, but warned about two more cyclones, Georgette and Frank, that are on the way.

“This was a good dress rehearsal,” Caldwell said.

Here are details on nine other sewer spills throughout the island:

· Kailua Regional WWTP – Volume: 42,000 gallons [estimated]. Discharged to in-plant storm drain that flows to Nu‘upia Pond. Cause: Primary Clarifiers Overflowed. Started: 11:40 p.m. (7/24) / Secured: 12:00 a.m. (7/25).
· ‘Āhuimanu Pretreatment Facility – Volume: 50,000 gallons [est.]. In-plant spill [abandoned wastewater pond], did not reach receiving waters. Cause: Mechanical. Started: Unknown / Secured: 1:00 a.m.
· Kane‘ohe Pretreatment Facility – Volume: 4,200 gallons [est.]. Cause: Kawa Stream overflowed its banks, entered facility, and flowed back into Kawa Stream. Started: 11:30 p.m. (7/24) / Secured: 3:00 a.m. (7/25)
· 2407 Liliha Street – Volume: 4,100 gallons [est.]. Cause: Unknown. Started: 9:38 p.m. / ENV Arrived: 10:39 p.m. (7/24) Secured: 11:00 p.m.
· 2411 Waolani Avenue – Volume: 1,200 gallons [est.]. Spill entered Waolani Stream. Cause: Debris/Offset joint. Started: 8:30 a.m. (7/25) / ENV Arrived: 8:41 a.m. / Secured: 9:10 a.m.
· 44-217 Mikiola Drive – Volume: Unknown. Wet weather. Received call of a manhole overflowing. , When crew arrived, nothing was spilling but there was evidence of a spill.
· Corner of Hala Drive/Aupuni Street – Volume: 2,400 gallons [est.]. Spill entered storm drain. Cause: Grease. Started: 10:41a.m. (7/25) / ENV Arrived: 10:50 a.m. / Secured: 11:41 a.m.
· Punawai Pump Station – Volume: 600 gallons [est.]. Spill entered Heeia Stream. Cause: Heeia Stream overflowed and flooded pump station. Started: 10:05 p.m. (7/24) / Secured: 10:30 p.m.
Crews lift entire trees out of Kalihi Stream after Tropical Storm Darby.
Crews lift entire trees out of Kalihi Stream after Tropical Storm Darby. Anthony Quintano / Civil Beat

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