Wind, rain batters Kaua‘i

LIHU‘E — Heavy rains that castigated the island during the holidays came back, causing some damage Wednesday. The rainy weather is supposed to last until today, according to the National Weather Service forecast.

Downed branches, intermittent power outages and canceled schedules resulted from the passage of a weather front through Kaua‘i early Wednesday.

At 11 a.m., Greg Gonsalves, the athletic director at Kapa‘a High School, announced no Kaua‘i Interscholastic Federation soccer games at the New Kapa‘a Town Park stadium.

There was standing water on both the fields and in the adjoining spectator areas, some of the bleacher footings submerged in the runoff from heavy overnight rains.

The National Weather Service announced on Wednesday a wet and windy weather pattern that will prevail over the state through much of Thursday.

Gusty southerly winds, some as high as 45 to 50 mph, heavy rains, and even some thunderstorms are expected as a cold front approaches from the west.

The front is expected to stall and weaken over the western portion of the state on Thursday, with drying conditions Friday and Saturday, before another cold front approaches late Sunday or early Monday.

The approaching cold front appears weaker with less wind and windfall expected.

Strong, gusty winds will be strongest across northern sections of the islands, where the southerly winds will downslope and accelerate, the NWS stated.

Ross Shimabukuro, athletic director at Kaua‘i High School, announced the boys’ basketball game between the Red Raiders and Island School was canceled because of conditions caused by the inclement weather.

“That means Kaua‘i High School won’t be participating in any KIF events Wednesday,” Shimabukuro said. “We won’t know about the other events until later in the day.”

He said there are several options for the canceled soccer game in Kapa‘a, between Kapa‘a and Kaua‘i high schools, but no details were available at press time.

Clyde Vito, an organizer with the county’s community basketball league, said due to weather conditions, the Department of Parks and Recreation canceled the inaugural games of the Girls 13-and-Under basketball games originally scheduled for Wednesday night at Kalaheo Neighborhood Center.

County spokeswoman Mary Daubert said there were reports of power outages in various areas of the island, but could not confirm them with Kaua‘i Island Utilities Cooperative.

KIUC community relations office Shelley Paik said there were localized outages because of the weather. The outages affected parts of Koke‘e, Lihu‘e, Kapaia, Kapa‘a and Wainiha.

The Second Ditch in Kekaha was opened Wednesday at about 11:30 a.m. due to high water levels in the area, as a precautionary measure to prevent flooding in Kekaha, Daubert said.

Due to safety concerns caused by very muddy weather conditions in the drop-off areas, green waste was not being accepted at several refuse transfer stations, including Hanalei, Kapa‘a, and Hanapepe.

Appliances and scrap metal recycling services at the Kapa‘a transfer station was also suspended due to the weather with all services resuming when conditions improve, a county release states.

“We recommend that residents secure loose objects that are in their yards to prevent them from being blown around by the strong winds,” Daubert said. “We encourage everyone to exercise caution while driving, and to report any hazards such as fallen tree branches to police dispatch at 241-1711.”


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