Beach parks hammered by rains and high surf
The images from the county’s Salt Pond Beach Park, captured by Tony Rapozo, park security officer, and the images of the pond at Lydgate Park, shot by Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer of The Garden Island, brought back harrowing remembrances of post-hurricane destruction to some Kaua’i residents.
Those who lived through Hurricane ‘Iniki in 1992 and Hurricane ‘Iwa in 1982, and other severe storms that visited the island, recall vividly the aftermath of those storms, and likened them to images of a Salt Pond Beach Park pavilion filled up with sand after last week’s high surf, and the debris deposited in the Lydgate Park pond by both those hurricanes.
The popular swimming beaches at both Lydgate Park and Salt Pond Park remain closed to the public this week, because of the damage caused by last week’s rains and high surf.
County officials last Thursday said it would likely take a week to collect and haul away all the debris at both popular beach parks.
At Salt Pond Park in Hanapepe, pavilions at the western end of the beach, normally far out of harm’s way where damaging surf is concerned, took the hardest hits, filling up with sand left when high waves made it all the way to the parking lot, and then receded.
Sue Kanoho, executive director of the Kaua’i Visitors Bureau, issued a memo to KVB members to warn guests to stay away from the closed parks.
“Please take the time to educate any visitors you may interact with,” she wrote. “This is a serious issue, and should be respected.”
Debris and run-off from near-by streams and rivers caused a diminution of water quality at both Salt Pond Beach Park and Lydgate Park, county water-safety officials said.
At Lydgate Park, tons of tree parts, initially floated down the Wailua River during last week’s heavy rains and eventually pushed out to sea and being deposited in the man-made, Lydgate Park pond, caused officials to close that beach to swimming.
It is expected to take about a week for the beach clean-up, said Kaleo Ho’okano, Kaua’i Fire Department Ocean Safety Bureau supervisor. “When that’s done, then we can re-open the ponds,” he said of both Lydgate Park and Salt Pond Beach Park.
Please keep reading The Garden Island for the latest information on when the beaches will reopen