LIHUE — High winds, surf and heavy rains hammered Kauai Sunday, toppling trees and power lines, but there were no reports of injuries as of late in the day.
“While the worst of the storm may seem to be behind us, dangerous conditions are still expected to continue throughout the night,” Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami said Sunday. “We urge everyone to remain vigilant and to stay off the roadways if at all possible.”
No damages from coastal inundation have been reported at this time. However, those in areas prone to coastal flooding or erosion are still advised to remain vigilant and to have a plan in place should the need to evacuate arise.
There are no highway closures at this time, however, multiple roads are reportedly closed due to fallen trees. Road closures Sunday night include portions of Menehune and Koke‘e roads in Waimea, and Olohena Road in Kapaa.
The state Department of Education announced that all public schools are scheduled to be open today.
On the North Shore, state and county crews were kept busy clearing numerous trees that fell onto Kuhio Highway. In one incident near Kilauea, traffic was stopped in both directions until a passerby produced a chainsaw from the trunk of his car and a group of bystanders pitched in to heave the cut limbs over a nearby guardrail.
In Hanalei, tourists streamed to the beach to photograph one another in quasi-hurricane mode as lifeguards kept watch in a nearby truck pulling a Jet Ski to be ready to respond to distress calls. In Princeville, a tree completely blocked Ka Haku Road, the main traffic artery, for a time, and several large trees blew over on the nearby Makai Golf Course.
The Kilauea town sign that greets visitors as they turn in at Kolo Road by the Shell gas station on the highway blew over, and a feed store sign was upended onto a propane tank. There were no injuries. Also in Kilauea, a thick, freshly sawn koa plank at the shop of a local furniture maker was lifted up and blown three feet onto a nearby sawhorse.
Some bodyboarders ventured out into the rough surf Sunday afternoon at Kealia Beach, while most people walked and watched from shore. A few cyclists zipped through large puddles, ignoring a downpour.
The county Department of Water on Sunday evening issued a water conservation request for all customers until further notice, due to multiple electrical power outages affecting well sites and system functions.
Kauai Island Utility Cooperative reported power outages throughout the island due to fallen trees and downed power lines. Crews were working to resolve the issues, but restoration to some areas may take time due to the volume of calls and the continued high winds.
“We are still experiencing severe weather on our island and we are urging residents and visitors to stay out of the water and away from our affected north- and west-facing shorelines through today,” Kawakami said Sunday.
On Kauai, a high-wind warning remained in effect until this morning, with gusts of up to 60 mph being reported. All north- and west-facing beach parks, from Kekaha to Anahola, remain closed until further notice as the high-surf warning is in effect. Wave heights of up to 60 feet were reported on the North Shore.
The public was advised to stay out of the water and away from shorelines. Entering the water could still result in significant injury or death.
The American Red Cross holding center at the Kilauea Neighborhood Center reported no occupants since its opening Saturday night. Therefore, the holding center is now on standby should the need to open become necessary.