WAILUA — The sun was shining Monday morning, but visitors from Chicago were told Lydgate Beach was closed.
“This is three floods’ worth,” a volunteer from the Friends of Kamalani and Lydgate Park said, surveying the mass of driftwood and other vegetative debris that covered the beach and over-flowed into the water of the popular beach.
“I just talked with John Lydgate this morning, and he said cleanup efforts won’t start until after the impending front passes,” said the volunteer, who asked not to be identified.
According to televised weather reports, a front bringing more rain to the islands is expected to pass by midweek. However, the report said the amount of rainfall is not expected to reach the levels of last week’s front.
“This is really bad. The health department guys were here to test the water last week, and the lepto (leptospirosis) count is really high,” the volunteer added. “I wouldn’t go in the water.”
He said he personally pulled out the carcass of a wild boar from the mess, and added that the lifeguards also pulled a pig’s carcass from the debris. He added that the lifeguards also pulled out about 10 dead chickens as well.
All of those were buried, but he said that due to the “locked in” conditions at the popular “keiki pond,” there is probably a bigger pig’s carcass buried among the wood. A lingering smell was the cause of the speculation.
The high bacterial count based on sampling done by the state’s Department of Health, as well as the physical logjam in the pools have beach closure signs posted, warning swimmers not to use, or go near the water.
Two members of the Mature Mermaid exercise group that used to use the Lydgate pond for a water exercise program were among those who were told by the lifeguards on duty that they could not go in the water.
“It’s a good thing we exercise at the pool, now,” the ladies said. “But, we used to use the beach regularly.”
On Monday, the popular pool ringed by a rock barrier was closed due to the debris and high bacterial count. The neighboring keiki pool was so clogged with debris, no water could be seen.
“When you don’t have circulation, that’s when the problems start,” the volunteer said as he gingerly walked out to the rock breakwater. “It’s locked in, and with things starting to rot, it’s now beginning to smell.”
On the lawn area fronting the keiki pond, a photographer was taking a group shot of two busloads of tourists, taking advantage of the ocean and sky-line.
“This is bad for tourists,” he lamented following his photo session. “All they are going to see is the clogged beaches.”
- Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) and email@example.com.