KOLOA — A water hydrant break created a geyser and sent a flood through Historic Koloa Town on Tuesday afternoon — disrupting water service for nearly an hour.
Kauai fire and police departments responded to the break at the intersection of Koloa and Weliweli Road about 5 p.m. Tuesday. A visitor attempted to park his rental car on the shoulder of the westbound lane when the vehicle struck the fire hydrant, causing water to gush onto the roadway and close one lane to traffic.
County Department of Water spokeswoman Kim Tamaoka said an inspector arrived on the scene in less than 10 minutes to turn off the hydrant valve.
EJ Olsson, manager of Kauai Cove Cottages, said he was driving through Old Koloa Town when he saw the geyser and water flowing down the street as about 40 people watched.
“The whole town seemed to be flooding for a while,” Olsson said. “The cars were still able to get through, but there was about a foot of water on the ground and there was still a lot of water coming out of the hydrant.”
Otherwise, businesses remained open and traffic was flowing, he added.
Water Department crews returned Wednesday to repair the hydrant close to Asahi Soda Building.
La Spezia Restaurant and Wine Bar reported losing water service about 5:15 to 6:15 p.m.
Elizabeth Foley-McGinn, manager, said Department of Health regulations require restaurants stop serving when there is a water outage. She said it was fortunate the outage occurred as customers were arriving for dinner.
“The people were really nice,” Foley-McGinn said. “Everyone was patient and hung out. If it was longer, we would have had to refer them to other restaurants.”
It has been a strange year, she added. They have had to stop serving for both water and electricity outages.
“It is the same with the power outages,” she added. “There have been so many of those lately, it has been getting crazy.”
Pearl Souza, front end manager of the Koloa Big Save, said the outage affected the restrooms but only for a short period of time.
“Other than that, we were OK,” Souza said.
Businesses in the Asahi Soda Building across the street did not report many problems due to the water break. Most of the apparel and gift stores do not rely on water for operation but there are two restaurants, a coffee shop, an ice cream shop and a manufacturer.
Mary Resinto, manger of Koloa Mill, a coffee and ice cream shop, said they did not experience a disruption of business. An employee of Jungle Girl apparel said they did not have any problems, either.