Heavy rains lead to brown water advisory

LIHUE — A brown water advisory was issued by the state’s Department of Health, Clean Water Branch Wednesday due to the heavy rains that was accompanied by lightning and thunder Tuesday night.

The public is advised to stay out of flood waters and storm water runoff due to possible overflowing cesspools, sewer manholes, pesticides, animal fecal matter, dead animals, pathogens, chemicals, and associated flood debris.

Not all waters may be affected, the DOH said. However, if the water is brown, stay out and continue to practice good personal hygiene, the advisory states.

The National Weather Service reported that more than six inches of rain fell during a 24-hour period, with more than 3.35 inches falling from midnight Tuesday to noon Wednesday. Kapahi reported more than five inches of rain, with more than four inches coming down between midnight and noon.

Hanapepe and Kalaheo both received more than four inches in a 24-hour period, with more than an inch falling in 12 hours.

In Lihue, the airport gage showed four inches in that 24-hour period, with 1.7 inches falling between midnight and noon. The Lihue Variety Station, located on the road to Wailua Falls, reported more than six inches of rain in the 24-hour period.

Hanalei Elementary School, closed from Tuesday, remained closed with bus service for students in the Hanalei to Haena area being suspended Tuesday and Wednesday.

Mary Daubert, county spokeswoman, reported that Kuhio Highway near the Hanalei Bridge was closed, Wednesday morning with a flash flood warning issued by the National Weather Service being in effect. The American Red Cross, Kauai Branch opened an emergency shelter at the Hanalei School for the duration of the highway closure.

The flash flood warning was canceled at 10:30 a.m., and one lane of the highway near the Hanalei Bridge was reopened at 11 a.m., and the Red Cross closed its shelter. Both lanes were open at 12:30 p.m.

The NWS Kauai radar remains out of service until at least March 8.

Rainfall is expected to diminish across the state Thursday night through Friday night before a cold front is expected to move into the northern half of the state this weekend increasing the chance for showers.

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