Rain breaks pipeline, closes school

LIHU‘E — Heavy rainfall from the weekend and Monday closed one school and a bridge, made traffic conditions less than ideal and is believed to have broken a pipeline in Hanapepe.

However, disasters were kept to an almost manageable level. The county reported no weather-related crashes as of 2:30 p.m.

The National Weather Service canceled a flash flood warning for the island, but a flood watch remains in effect until 6 p.m. today.

Impacts

The Hanalei Bridge, which closed early on Sunday, reopened at about 10 a.m. on Monday. Traffic was backed up much of the day, but both lanes of Kuhio Highway in Hanalei were open by 1:10 p.m.

In addition, motorists should be aware that heavy rains have filled the streams and fields in Hanalei, which could result in further flooding, county officials said in a press release.

As a result of the bridge closure, Hanalei Elementary School was closed for the day. The school is expected to reopen today, according to a state Department of Education press release. All other DOE campuses remained open.

Other impacts of the weather include reported mudslides, a broken pipeline in Hanapepe Valley, a power outage in Wainiha and the closure of the Kilauea HI-5 bottle redemption center. It will remain closed until weather conditions improve.

The county Department of Water issued an urgent request for Hanapepe and ‘Ele‘ele residents and visitors to conserve water and to restrict water consumption to essential uses only. That includes cooking, bathing and toilet flushing.

“A primary water source for these areas, the pipeline presumably broke as a result of flood conditions,” the release states.

Residents are asked to notify their neighbors and encourage their participation. Water conservation efforts will reduce the likelihood of a water outage in the area, the release states.

Mudslides with falling rocks have also been reported in Kapa‘a and Kalaheo and ponding occurred in some areas. Motorists are urged to exercise caution particularly along hills and cliffs where the potential for landslides exists, the county release states.

The Hanalei River’s peak stream flow, recorded by the U.S. Geological Survey, approached record-setting heights.

The record, set in 1996, is 15.81 feet; the gage height reached 12 feet between Sunday and Monday. The data posted on the USGS website dates back to 1962.

Just over 7 inches of rainfall was recorded at the USGS Hanalei River gage during the 24-hour period ending at 5 p.m. Monday; the highest amount measured statewide. Elsewhere around Kaua‘i, 5.58 inches fell on Mt. Wai‘ale‘ale, 4.66 inches in Kapahi, 3.56 inches in Wailua, 3.11 inches at Lihu‘e Airport, 2.34 inches in Kalaheo, 3.26 inches in ‘Oma‘o, 1.1 inches in Hanapepe and .86 inches in Waimea Heights, according to the National Weather Service.

For more information about the pipeline break, call the DOW at 245-5455 during business hours, 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., or Police Dispatch at 241-1711 after business hours.

For updates on the reopening of the Kilauea HI-5 redemption center, call the operator, Kaua‘i Community Recycling Services, at 645-1676.

For traffic and weather updates, the public can call 241-1725.

Visit http://www.prh.noaa.gov/hnl/ or http://nwis.waterdata.usgs.gov/hi/nwis/ for more information.

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