Keehi Boaters Recovering From Tsunami 1 Year Later

Published On: Mar 11 2012 03:03:58 AM HST
Updated On: Mar 12 2012 04:59:26 AM HST
HONOLULU -

It's been one year since the earthquake and tsunami disaster in Japan and even though the majority of the damage was suffered thousand of miles away, Hawaii's harbors were deeply impacted by the devastation. Despite millions of dollars released by the state for repairs, glitches have forced some boaters to just make due.

Boater Jeffrey jones will never forget the mess the tsunami left behind at Keehi Harbor last year.

"I was looking at my boat, just hoping that it wouldn't get hit by all of the other boats that broke free just moving back and forth," Jones said.

Damaged boats and debris littered the open waters that day. 364 days later, some repairs have been made, some haven't. Twelve submerged boats linger underwater and pier 700 and 800 still hold the tsunami's scars.

State funds are available to make the repairs but the Department of Land and Natural Resources boating division said there's a catch.

"But in order to get to the FEMA reimbursement, we have to build the pier to the federal specifications, which means they have to become ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant, but the portion leading up to that part of the pier is not ADA," Ed Underwood, DLNR said.

DLNR's boating division said the plan is to replace both piers in their entirety. Jeffrey Jones said as for Keehi Harbor boaters who received damage to their vessels last year, many failed to qualify for financial assistance, forcing them to rely on each other and what they have left

"Just take care of the property yourself, do the best you can, make due basically," Jones said.

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