Officials urge residents to prepare for inclement weather

LIHU‘E — County of Kaua‘i officials are urging residents to be vigilant due to potential severe weather conditions starting today and into Tuesday.

“We are urging the public to be vigilant as the threat of severe weather may impact the island early this week,” Managing Director Michael Dahilig said. “Hiking, swimming and other outdoor activities during these hazardous conditions are highly discouraged and may put you and our first responders at risk.”

Additionally, in anticipation of severe weather, county Department of Public Works Solid Waste Division officials are announcing the following pertaining to trash services:

• Trash collection this week may be interrupted due to heavy rain, flooding and other impacts from the weather;

• The Kekaha Landfill will be open starting at 7 a.m. today and accept trash from the public through the end of the day, or until conditions permit;

• Refuse-transfer stations islandwide will be open during their regular business hours. However, the public is encouraged to bring in their trash by noon today in anticipation of stormy conditions.

The National Weather Service has announced that a Kona low will bring the threat of widespread heavy rainfall and thunderstorms capable of producing catastrophic flooding, and strong south-to-southwest winds through the first half of the week.

The island of Kaua‘i and the state of Hawai‘i remain under a flash-flood watch through Tuesday. A watch means that conditions are favorable for flash flooding. Residents and visitors should monitor the weather and be prepared to take action in the event that a flash-flood warning is issued.

A high-surf warning for all north-facing shores and a high-surf advisory for all west-facing shores of Kaua‘i and Ni‘ihau remain in effect through 6 a.m. today.

County, state and federal officials are monitoring the situation and are actively coordinating in preparation.

Officials recommend the following actions when preparing for a weather emergency:

• Assemble an emergency-preparedness kit – kits should contain at least a 14-day supply of food and water (to include non-perishable food and one gallon of water per person per day). Kits should also include a battery-powered radio, flashlight, an extra supply of prescription medicines and other items specific to individual and family needs. It is also recommended that face coverings and hand sanitizer also be included in kits. Set aside an emergency supply of any needed medication and keep copies of prescriptions;

• Check property – Walk your property, checking for small outdoor items that could be picked up by high winds, and check for potential flood threats. If time and conditions permit, clear gutters and other drainage systems;

w Make an action plan – Discuss with family members what you plan to do if a hurricane or tropical storm threatens. Make an action plan, which should include details such as whether your family will shelter in place or evacuate to a shelter. There are no plans to open shelters at this time. However, the county will work with the American Red Cross to open shelters on an as-needed basis, and will announce a list of open shelters if or when they become available;

• Refrain from outdoor activities – Visitors and residents are urged to check conditions before venturing out for any hiking, river or beach excursions. Do not cross swollen rivers or streams, and always check with a lifeguard at any lifeguard station before entering the ocean. For up-to-date information about Kaua‘i ocean conditions and ocean safety, speak to a county lifeguard, visit hawaiibeachsafety.com, or call the Kaua‘i Fire Department Ocean Safety Bureau at 808-241-4984;

• Store potable water – The county Department of Water says severe weather storms can cause damage to water systems, disrupt electrical power to DOW pumps and equipment, block road access to water sources, and may impact water quality. Customers should prepare for water-service disruptions by having the recommended water storage supply readily available for essential uses. For more water-emergency-preparedness tips, visit kauaiwater.org.

The Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative is closely monitoring the storm expected to impact Kaua‘i today, and has activated its emergency preparedness plan.

“The entire state is presently in a flood watch. Although impacts to Kaua‘i aren’t expected until late in the day on Monday, our staff is ready to respond should conditions change, and in the event that we experience weather impacts,” KIUC’s Chief of Operations Brad Rockwell said.

KIUC members can prepare themselves for the impacts of storms and possible power outages as follows:

• Protect appliances and sensitive equipment from power outages and surges that may occur because of bad weather by using surge protectors;

• During a storm, turn off and unplug all unnecessary appliances or equipment;

• Keep a portable, battery-powered radio and flashlights with extra batteries on hand;

• In case of loss of power, when the power comes back on and is steady, gradually plug appliances back in;

• In the event of high winds, objects can come into contact with overhead lines and electrical equipment, causing power interruptions. Sometimes during high winds power lines are knocked down. Call 911, stay at least 30 feet clear and assume any down lines are dangerous.

Storm preparedness tips can be found on KIUC’s website, kiuc.coop/storm-sense.

Other information sources include the Kaua‘i Emergency Management Agency, kauai.gov/kema; National Weather Service, weather.gov/hfo or 808-245-6001; sign up for Blackboard Connect (The county’s free emergency notification service) at kauai.gov/kema or by calling KEMA at 808-241-1800.

1 Comments
  1. tom December 6, 2021 6:13 am Reply

    Is KONG radio still the emergency radio station to listen to? We need a source of information that does not require electricity- in the past KONG radio was a good source of information but recent disastors it is very confusing to know where to get solid information.


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