Highway reopened, Hanalei shelter closed: Hanalei cut off by rain 2 days in a row

HANALEI — Kuhio Highway was closed at 6 p.m. Saturday near the Hanalei River due to flooding, the second time in two days that heavy rains caused the North Shore town to be cut off from the rest of the island.

At 7:15 p.m., police reported that the highway was reopened to alternating lanes of traffic. Hanalei School, which had been opened as an emergency shelter by the American Red Cross, was then closed.

A flash flood watch was issued for Kauai at 4 p.m. Saturday when radar indicated heavy rain over interior sections of the island. The showers were nearly stationary, according to the National Weather Service.

The flash flood warning was extended to last until 10 p.m. but could be modified as conditions developed.

A flash flood warning means that flooding is imminent or already occurring in streams, roads and low-lying areas.

The entire state is under a flash flood watch until this afternoon. A flash flood watch means conditions may develop that lead to flash flooding.

On Saturday evening, the NWS also noted a gauge on the south fork of the Wailua River was rising rapidly.

On Friday, 40 stranded people took refuge at Hanalei School when water flooded Kuhio Highway near Hanalei Bridge. The highway was reopened about 5:30 p.m. and the shelter closed.

The NWS had issued a flash flood warning for Kauai Friday morning that lasted until 5:30 p.m.

There were no reports of extensive property damage when heavy rains sent water over roads and forced the closure of the bridge Friday morning.

“As far as we know, there are no houses that are being affected,” said Padriac Gallagher, American Red Cross director of disaster services.

Water levels reached 12.55 feet, making it the fourth- highest level at the Hanalei River gauge, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The Kalalau Trail and Na Pali Coast State Wilderness Park were closed due to flash flooding Friday.

Flooding was reported at Hanakapiai Stream.

There was heavy rain in other parts of the state Friday, with a flash flood warning also in effect for Oahu and the Big Island, according to the NWS.

For more information on road conditions and closures, call 241-1725. Do not call Kauai police at 911 unless you have an emergency.

For weather updates, stay tuned to the NOAA weather radio or local media.

Information about the weather is also available online at www.weather.gov/hawaii.

To sign up for Blackboard Connect (formerly known as Connect CTY), the county’s emergency notification service, go to the county website, www.kauai.gov, or call the Kauai Civil Defense Agency at 241-1800.

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