North Shore homeowner gets helping hand

By Cam Tran
Published On: Jan 02 2014 04:26:53 PM HST
Updated On: Jan 02 2014 07:57:32 PM HST

Volunteers help residents on the North Shore clean debris from their homes damaged by erosion.

HALEIWA, Hawaii -

Kenneth Dombrowski has been waiting for days for the sound of hammering.

"These guys come out here and save me a few days work and that is a blessing," said Dombrowski.

Click here to watch Cam Tran's report.

He is among a dozen homeowners along Rocky Point who have lost their backyards and decks to beach erosion along Oahu's North Shore.

"We had a huge yard.  Now we're just trying to stop from from losing our house next door and it sucks because we're the only ones on here with two properties and it's twice as much work and twice as scary," said Dombrowski.

Now, the struggling homeowner is getting help in his battle against Mother Nature.

The nonprofit Team Rubicon, which consists mostly of veterans, volunteered their hammers, shovels and manpower on Thursday.

"This homeowner was telling us he's been asking for days.  He's watched people come out like tourists and surfers but no one's been willing to help or lend a hand so we're happy to be able to do that for him.," said Amanda McDonald of Team Rubicon.

These volunteers dismantled the Dombrowski's deck and helped dig out an iconic palm tree he's trying to save.

"These guys coming out to volunteer is a big deal," said Dombrowski.  "My heart goes out to them.  They've even gone as far as trying to save our tree, which has been on our property for the last 20 years.  They are going above and beyond what they should do.  Me and my family are really thankful."

In addition to volunteers, City & County of Honolulu workers also brought bulldozers to remove large debris along the shoreline.

"We see palm trees, some footings with concrete bases and utility poles that shored up houses that came loose," said Peter Hirai of the Department of Emergency Management.  "Our emphasis is public safety so we're just trying to get the stuff off the beach to make the beach safe again."

Many of these North Shore homeowners say this is not just a one-day project or even a week-long project.  With the winter swell season far from being over, they'll need more volunteers to fill up the sand bags in an effort to save their homes.

PHOTOS: North Shore erosion cleanup

Click here to see more photos from the cleanup.

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