County officials now think it will take much longer than a week to clean out the tons of lumber and other debris accumulated in the main swimming pond at Lydgate Park.
Mary Daubert, county public information officer, said members of county Department of Public Works crews have been reassigned to make sure river mouths and drainage ditches, culverts and other water-carrying devices are clean and flowing in advance of heavy rains which might visit the island as Hurricane Jova advances toward the islands later this week.
While Jova is expected to continue on its northwesterly course, weaken as it gets into cooler Pacific waters and pass to the east of the Big Island, there is always a chance that it will strengthen, change course, and possibly affect Kaua’i.
Cleaning of the Lydgate Park pool was not scheduled for yesterday, as originally planned, because of the priorities to prepare for the possible visit of foul weather associated with Jova, Daubert said.
Tons of debris, mostly trees that were downed and moved into the Wailua River as a result of two days of heavy rain last Wednesday and Thursday, first settled near the mouth of the river, then were pushed out to the ocean.
By Friday, much of the debris had worked its way south of the river mouth, and was deposited into the man-made, lava-rock-enclosed, popular swimming area at Lydgate Park.
That pond has been closed since late last week, and county officials last week estimated it would take around a week to clean out the Lydgate Park pond.
There is now no estimate about when that work will be completed, and when the pond would reopen to swimmers.
On Friday afternoon, water-safety officials had posted “No Swimming,” “No Fishing,” and “Beach Closed” signs, to warn beach-goers of the potential danger in trying to swim in the clogged waters.
Debris also lined the south foot path, where warning signs were also posted.
Visitors and residents who frequent the beach remain unhappy with the situation at Lydgate Park, they said.
One resident, who swims daily at Lydgate Park, said county workers should clear the debris immediately, because “tourists need a place to go, and there are a lot of tourists who come to Lydgate.”
Daubert said county leaders are aware of the situation, and she will issue an advisory once the beach has been cleared and the water quality is deemed safe for swimming.