Maunaloa Loses Emergency Siren

Arce said he heard of poles falling before. In February a pole bearing an emergency siren in the East End fell over. “This is the first time I’ve seen a siren falling,” Arce said.

The bottom of the fallen siren was covered with rust. Arce blamed the rust on the salty breeze. At the Ranch’s office, O’Keefe thought the weather contributed to the accident. “We’ve been having some heavy rains lately,” she said.

The pole appeared to remain in good shape. But snapped wires were hanging from the top, and an antenna was bent, probably from being hit during the siren’s fall.

It took Arce and another MCPW worker less than 10 minutes to remove the fallen siren. A backhoe easily picked up the massive siren and loaded it in the back of a dump truck. It will be up to the Hawaii State Civil Defense now to replace the siren.

Judging by the last incident, Maunaloa might have to wait a while for a new siren. The East End pole that fell over last February hasn’t been replaced yet. Arce said HSCD would normally hire an independent contractor, but no one on Molokai is qualified for the job.

Norman Ogasawara, the HSCD Assistant Telecommunications Officer, said he will be coming from Oahu on Wednesday, August 15 to assess the situation. “We’ll try to get it (the siren) up as soon as possible,” he said. However, the East End siren replacement is ahead of the Maunaloa siren on the HSCD list of priorities on Molokai. “We are working on that one (East End siren) first before we do anything,” Ogasawara said.


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