Tourists Beached After 500,000 Gallons Of Sewage Flood Waikiki
Honolulu’s famed Waikiki Beach is closed after an estimated 500,000 gallons of untreated wastewater came pouring out of several manholes on Monday.
After a weekend of thunderstorms and extreme humidity, debris reportedly clogged storm drains while the heavy rains had overwhelmed the city’s sewage system.
Authorities are now urging the public to stay away from most of Waikiki, Hawaii’s most popular tourist attraction — and that means not entering the ocean along the beachfront.
It could be a couple of days before it’s safe enough for people to go back in the water, The Associated Press reports.
The city has posted signs to warn beachgoers of the potentially dangerous contamination while city crews work to stop the spill, KHON2 reports. Officials are also advising people to avoid contact with standing water near the site of the spill.
“We don’t know right now what is in the water. You could get a serious infection, get extremely sick or even worse,” Shayne Enright, a spokeswoman for the city’s Department of Emergency Services, told AP.
But some people aren’t taking the threat seriously.
“Even if they don’t let me, I’m still going in. … That’s a lot of water there. I don’t think a little particle is gonna hurt me,” California visitor Adam Rago told Hawaii News Now.
The heavy rains, which stemmed from Tropical Depression Kilo, also caused flooding in many areas of the state, leading to flash flood warnings and school closures.
State officials said some people in Waikiki had opened manhole covers to help alleviate flooding, —> Read More