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North Shore relief efforts continue; Hanalei Bridge remains closed

  • Photo courtesy HDOT
    Debris piles up against the Wailua Bridge.

LIHUE — Officials are planning relief efforts and search and rescue operations to the North Shore community.

“We are working actively with our government and non-governmental partners to use all our resources and provide relief efforts to our community,” said Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. “There is a lot of work to be done, but we want to assure our community and visitors that help is on the way.”

Kuhio Highway, in the vicinity of the Hanalei Bridge, remains closed until the bridge can be inspected and deemed safe.

The Flash Flood Watch for Kauai has been cancelled, according to the National Weather Service.

The heavy rainfall causing flooding and landslides, destroying roads, cars and houses.

Officials are also reporting continued road closures and are assessing the following areas:

• Weke Road in the vicinity of Black Pot Beach due to a sinkhole;

• Severe erosion closed the mauka portion of Kahiliholo Road at Kalihiwai Ridge;

• Kuhio Highway, between Waikoko and Wainiha, due to multiple landslides;

• Hanalei Plantation Road in Princeville due to a sinkhole.

· The south-bound lane is open on Kuhio Highway on the Wailua Bridge.

There will be a lane closure from 7 tonight until 5 a.m. Tuesday on Kuhio Highway at the Wailua River Bridge between Kuamoo Road and Leho Drive.

Officials will be clearing debris from the base of the bridge in the river.

One lane of traffic in each direction will be maintained.

Kalihiwai Reservoir had reached near capacity as of 3:30 p.m. Sunday. As a safety precaution, the low-lying areas of Kalihiwai Valley along Kalihiwai Valley Road and near Kalihiwai Stream were evacuated.

There is no active threat at this time as water appears to be receded, but the evacuation remains in effect until further notice.

“Communities on Oahu and Kauai are starting to clean up the damage done by the flooding this weekend, but they need as much help as they can get,” Sen. Brian Schatz said. “I have reached out to the appropriate federal agencies—including FEMA, SBA, USDA, and DOT—and let them know where we stand. They are ready to answer the call once Governor Ige, Mayor Caldwell, and Mayor Carvalho request assistance. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I will work with the other members of the congressional delegation and do everything possible to help these communities get on the road to recovery.”

The American Red Cross has closed a shelter at Koloa Elementary School, and school will commence today. An evacuation shelter remains open at Hanalei Elementary School and the Church of the Pacific in Princeville. The shelter at Kapaa Middle School has been closed.

Hanalei School is closed today, due to inclement weather. As a result of the school closure, no school buses will be operating for students residing in Hanalei, Wainiha or Ha‘ena who attend Kapa‘a Middle and Kapaa High School.

Additionally, DOE reports that due to inclement weather conditions and road conditions, bus transportation services will not be operating for students residing in Keapana who attend Kapaa Elementary, Kapaa Middle and Kapaa High schools. This notice is only for the students living in the Keapana Valley area.

The Kauai Emergency Management Emergency Operations Center has been activated since early Saturday morning and is continuing to partner with the Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Army and the Honolulu Fire Department to support the ongoing search and rescue operations on the North Shore.

Both on-duty and off-duty emergency personnel have performed a number of rescues and evacuations since Saturday night.

The state Department of Transportation and the county Public Works Roads Division continue to work to clear landslides and debris that have occurred in multiple locations between Kalihiwai and Wainiha.

The Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative restored power in the Kalaheo-Lawai area. Additionally, extended outages are continuing from Hanalei to Ha‘ena.

The Department of Water announces a water service outage for Ha‘ena, Wainiha and some Hanalei customers until further notice.

“We are deploying the appropriate crews to assess and attempt to reestablish power and water service to homes,” a press release said.”Affected customers are advised to collect rain water to use for non-potable water needs.”

The water conservation notice from Princeville Utilities Co., Inc. continues for all its customers in Princeville, Anini Vista, Kalihiwai Bay Estates, Kapaka Road and Hanalei Plantation Road. Severe inclement weather has affected the emergency repairs response to the well which will result in depletion of the storage tank supply. There is currently no available timeline for water service restoration or service repairs at this time due to the inaccessibility of the area.

Mayor Bernard P. Carvalho, Jr. has signed an emergency proclamation as the County of Kaua‘i engages in various emergency response operations associated with record-breaking rains, flooding and thunderstorms.

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