Five people are among those displaced after a torrent of water and mud swept away a five-bedroom farmhouse and badly damaged another shed on the same Maui property on Monday afternoon.
“There is literally no sign of the farm,” said Sylvia Cenzano, who lives in a separate main house on the 9.2-acre Ha’ikū plot with her 87-year-old mother, almost 17-year-old son and two other residents of the community.
The main house where she resides is on higher ground and was still standing, but when emergency crews checked the property on Monday evening, there was no sign of the nearby farm or of a steel container. 20 feet used for storage, according to Cenzano.
“The farm is nowhere in sight… All the plants and trees on the embankment are gone. All I see is evidence of a length of electrical conduit, ”Cenzano said in a telephone interview on Tuesday.
The property is located at 1120 Kaupakalua Road, approximately 2.8 miles from the Kaupakalua Dam which overflowed on Monday afternoon.
A bridge on the property, located near the main house, was also washed away.
“I went out to move cars… but by the time I was done I couldn’t get back to the bridge,” said Cenzano, who wanted to return to his mother and another resident who remained. The main house is now only accessible on foot by crossing a wooded hill on the neighbor’s property.
“The river across the street had crossed the road and formed a huge swirling pond of water that flowed down the alley,” she said.
In the 14 years that Cenzano has lived on the property, she said she never experienced the type of flooding that occurred on Monday. “I saw floods, yes; but nothing like that. The parking lot was under 3-4 feet of water, ”Cenzano said.
Cenzano is the founder of the nonprofit Mālamalama, a sustainability training center for youth that educates and empowers participants in the areas of life skills, agriculture, community life and development. staff. The group’s farm is known as Kolealea.
Now finding himself on the side needing help, Cenzano said it was a lesson in humility. “There was a great outpouring” of friends and community members who registered. “When things like this happen we have to live with an open heart and mind… often there are blessings and you have to stay open to see them,” she said.
Cenzano said the total losses are around $ 340,000. This includes the loss of the farm house and its contents. She notes that a 50-foot tree fell on the front of the house about two months ago and was taped up for repair.
Five cars were also swept away, valued at around $ 10,000 each and the cost of the catwalk is estimated at $ 15,000. While homes are insured for damage caused by a hurricane, they are not covered for damage caused by flooding.
An assessment of the farm this morning also revealed the loss of two sheds with tools, two more sheds that had just been installed, and the 20-foot steel shipping container that was full of items.
A Gofundme account has been created here.
At least half a dozen homes were heavily damaged or destroyed, according to Mayor Michael Victorino, who called the event “an unprecedented flood”. He urged the public to remain vigilant and stay safe as damage assessments continue today.