We dodged another one

  • Photo contributed by Margie Merryman

    Margie Merryman’s boarded-up windows on her Kalaheo home are seen, in preparation for the rest of hurricane season, which ends Nov. 30.

LIHUE — Tropical Storm Olivia weakened to a tropical depression Thursday and passed Kauai with little notice. While residents reported Olivia’s winds rearranged some lawn furniture and toppled some plants, they feel like they dodged a bullet — again.

“So far we are good,” Morgan Needham, manager of Hanalei Dolphin, said Thursday. “We lifted all our equipment and are holding our breath.”

The Hanalei Dolphin was flooded with about five feet of water during the April rains that triggered flooding on the North Shore and then got about five inches of water inside the restaurant in late August when Tropical Storm Lane passed Kauai.

The restaurant has been undergoing a renovation since April and may reopen this month.

Olivia, as of 5 p.m. Thursday, had maximum sustained winds of 35 mph and was moving away from the islands, west at 15 mph. It was 380 miles southwest of Lihue.

Christy Wong and her family at Kauai Animal Education Center were prepared for potential loss of electricity from landslides, and downed trees.

At KAEC, preparations were a continuation of cleanup from April flooding.

“Our farm has relocated and is in a much safer location,” Wong said. “Animals are safe and riding out this weather protected.”

Kalaheo’s Margie Merryman said Thursday, “We dodged another hurricane.”

“Hopefully people will remain inspired to always be prepared,” she said.

Dr. Robert Zelkovsky of Kapaa said his home suffered no real damages. He pointed out, though, there were several false alarms before Hurricane Iniki hit Kauai in 1992.

“Remind people to stay alert,” he said.

Rain wasn’t a problem.

In the 24-hour period between noon Wednesday and the same time Thursday, the Waialeale gauge recorded 4.39 inches of rain and the Kilohana gauge got 4.8, while most around Kauai had less than an inch of rain.

Meteorologists with the National Weather Service were expecting numerous and sometimes heavy showers on Thursday on Kauai as the leftovers from Tropical Storm Olivia moved through.

The next storm on the radar is Paul, which was identified as Tropical Depression 18 Sept. 8 and became a tropical storm a day later. Currently, it’s 1,500 miles off the eastern side of the state and is losing steam.

“It’s pretty much died off,” said Gavin Shigesato, NWS meteorologist.


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