Missing hiker believed swept out to sea, wind advisory until 4 a.m.

The Kaua‘i Fire Department searched by air and sea for a hiker believed swept out to sea this afternoon. Witnesses told authorities the man was attempting to cross Hanakapi‘ai Stream on the island’s North Shore when he was overcome by waves and swept out to sea. With help from the Civil Air Patrol, the fire department searched by Air 1 and also a fire department Zodiac boat. The search was called off at sunset, but will resume at sunrise Sunday morning, according to a news release from the fire department.

The National Weather Service tonight issued a wind advisory for the lower elevations of Kaua‘i until 4 a.m. Sunday. “Winds this strong can bring down tree branches and make driving difficult,” the weather service warned on its website. “Motorists should use extra caution.”

The fire department says the identity of the missing man is not known. He was described by witnesses as being between age 40 and 50, wearing dark clothing and a backpack, and using two hiking sticks. Anyone who has information about the man’s identity is asked to call the fire department’s non-emergency dispatch line at 241-4711.

Meanwhile, the Kaua‘i Police Department is reporting another road closure. County road crews discovered two sinkhols in teh Ulu Mahi subdivision in Lihu‘e that caused the closoing of Pua Nani Street. Department of Water workers shut off water service to the area until repairs can be completed. Authorities had no estimate of when repairs can be completed.

The National Weather Service reports a high surf advisory remains in effect until 6 p.m. Sunday for east-facing shores of Kaua‘i. Large breaking waves will affect beaches in the advisory area, producing dangerous rip currents. A wind advisory is in effect until 6 p.m. today, with the National Weather Service reporting that winds of at least 30 mph with potential gusts of over 50 mph are expected.

Hanalei Bridge on the North Shore is now open to traffic, but motorists are being urged to use “extreme caution,” the county reported.

Crews are still at work on Kuhio Highway near Mile Marker 22.5 in Kilauea, and traffic is being diverted to side roads, the Kaua‘i Civil Defense Agency reports. Lydgate Park and the Wailua Golf Course remain closed until further notice.

The county Water Department urges residents of Kilauea, Kalihiwai, Pu‘upane and Waipake to conserve water to avoid a water outage in the area.

An American Red Cross shelter at Kapa‘a Middle School closed today, and no one spent the night. Spokeswoman Jennifer Walter says homeowners are urged to call 645-1911 with reports of storm damage. The Red Cross states this information will be forwarded to county and state officials as part of their damage assessment reports.

A small craft advisory is in effect until 6 p.m. Sunday for leeward and windward waters off Kaua‘i.

The Hawai’i State Civil Defense has activated a toll-free number for damage reports from residents whose property, home or business was damaged by the ongoing severe weather. Call 855-211-7456, ext. 654, for information.

For weather updates, visit the National Weather Service online at www.prh.noaa.gov/pr/hnl/.

For road closure updates, call 241-1725 for recorded information.



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