REPORT FROM DLNR – PAHOA – Tropical Storm Iselle brought down or damaged thousands of trees in Hawaii Island’s Puna District. At the request of Hawaii County, DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife crews have been operating chain saws and heavy equipment to clear entire trees, large limbs and other vegetation debris from roads in the Pahoa area.
Each day since last Saturday, 12-16 DOFAW workers have felled countless trees, mostly invasive, non-native Albizia trees on main thoroughfares and side roads. Many of these roads were blocked, trapping people on their properties when the towering Albizia trees crashed down during the tropical storm.
DLNR Chair William J. Aila, Jr., said: “Teams from all of DLNR’s divisions have been working hard, often around the clock, to assess and if necessary repair damage caused by the storm. We opened state parks, forests and other recreational facilities as quickly as possible with safety for our staff and the people of Hawaii being paramount.”
DOFAW administrator Lisa Hadway singled out the sawyers helping to reopen roads on the Big Island. “It is tough, dirty, demanding work; none of these people complain as they know they’re helping their friends, visitors and in some cases their own families,” she said.