Logjam closes Lydgate, again

WAILUA — There was a lot of sunshine Tuesday morning at Lydgate Park, but the effects of Friday night’s deluge were still being felt.

“When is it going to open?” Maureen O’Keefe, visiting from Stow, Mass., wanted to know as she queried Norm Hunter, a veteran water safety officer.

“We were here last week and got to do some snorkeling,” O’Keefe said while her husband clicked off some photographs of the logjam.

Hunter explained that it would take some heavy equipment to clear the logjam and the earliest he estimated the re-opening would be the weekend.

“Beach Closed” and “No Swimming” signs lined the beach fronting the popular tidal pool that was partially clogged from an accumulation of logs and branches washed down by the Friday night rains.

The adjacent keiki pond was totally choked with a similar accumulation that undulated unnaturally with the surge and ebb of the waves.

“Last year, we had 19 closures of Lydgate Park due to this,” John Lydgate said at an environmental assessment meeting Monday night at the park’s main pavilion. “It rained on Friday, and Saturday the park was closed, again.”

O’Keefe said they visit Kaua‘i every year, and remembers some of the rain from last year. But she doesn’t remember the pond being so clogged they couldn’t enjoy it.

Hunter said that with all the closures and logjams, he and his fellow water safety officers could not help but notice the frequency with which the jams occur.

He said they’ve started taking a closer look at the accumulation of material and noticed that a lot of the wood is albizia, the same type of wood that damaged a resident’s car earlier in the week.

Hunter said some wood carvers came down earlier to see if they could salvage some of the wood, but on inspection, said it was all softwood rather than hardwood, making it unusable.

Mary Daubert, county public information officer, said she will check with the Ocean Safety Bureau about the park’s re-opening.

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