Flood Watch Remains, Nearly 450 Airlifted Since Monday

April 20, 2018, 8:01 AM HST · Updated April 20, 8:09 AM
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Kauaʻi flood assessment. PC: Governor David Ige.

A Flood Watch remains in place for the entire state of Hawaiʻi through this afternoon as the remnants of an old front linger across the state.  This front, combined with an upper level trough moving overhead, will continue to bring a threat for heavy rain and flash flooding.

Overnight, Kauaʻi was placed under a Flash Flood Warning, which was lifted at 7:30 a.m. when flood waters at Hanalei receded back within the river’s banks.  The public is advised to monitor future forecasts and be prepared to take action if additional warnings or advisories are issued.

Nearly 450 people have been evacuated by air from flood damaged areas along Kauaʻi’s north shore since Monday.  Air evacuations resume today from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with non-emergency air evacuations to cease at 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 21, 2018.

Current Road Closures and Repairs on Kauaʻi:

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·Kūhiō Highway is closed in the vicinity of Hā‘ena Beach Park and the Dry Cave due to rushing waters. The Kaua‘i Police Department are advising motorists to avoid the area. Please exercise caution on the roadways and please stay tuned to local media for updates.
·For residents affected by the Kahiliholo Road closure in Kīlauea, an emergency access road has been opened for local traffic only through the privately owned Common Ground and Wai Koa Guava Plantation properties. The County would like to thank Wai Koa Guava Plantation LLC, Living Farms LLC, Kuawa Road LLC, Pacific Concrete Cutting and Coring Hawai‘i, and its Public Works Roads Division for their efforts to open this temporary access road.
· Kūhiō Highway at the Wailua River Bridge will have temporary lane closures nightly from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m., until Saturday morning, April 21, in order to remove debris from the river. Hawai‘i Department of Transportation reports this will not be a continuous closure. All traffic will be routed onto the Bryan Baptiste Memorial (Makai) Bridge, where one lane in each direction of traffic will be maintained.
· Kūhiō Highway, between Waikoko and Wainiha, remains closed due to multiple landslides. Crews are working with contractors to clear out thousands of pounds of mud, trees, and debris. A definitive timeframe has not yet been established.
· Lei O Papa Road in Princeville remains closed due to a sinkhole.
· Weke Road in the vicinity of Black Pot Beach remains closed.

The Hawai‘i Department of Transportation continues to inspect bridges in the flood-affected areas on Kaua‘i. All inspected bridges were deemed safe by HDOT.

Ponding, low visibility and other hazardous driving conditions are expected. If you must drive, please do so with extreme caution.

Donation Information:

Due to the abundant amount of donated items collected, the Kaua‘i Emergency Management Agency has announced that the Princeville Airport and Kōloa Neighborhood Center will no longer serve as drop-off sites for donations. Those who wish to provide donations are asked to coordinate with KEMA at (808) 241-1800.

Here on Maui, a Mālama Kaua’i community drive to collect items in support of Kauaʻi residents impacted by the island’s recent severe flooding will take place in Kahului this Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  The collection will take place at  the empty lot next to First Hawaiian Bank in Kahului.

“We have an outstanding Kaua‘i community that has quickly provided a vast amount of food, clothing, and other necessities for the flood victims on our island,” said Elton Ushio, KEMA Administrator. “We appreciate and thank everyone who contributed to our relief efforts, and we encourage those who still wish help to consider providing a monetary donation to assist at this time.”

For those who wish to shelter in place, Camp Naue and the Hanalei Colony Resort have been serving as distribution points for food, water and other provisions.  Accepted items are being are limited to non-perishables, bottled water, cleaning supplies, hygiene items, diapers, baby food and formula. Donations are currently being accepted at the following locations:

· Food Bank of Hawai‘i – Kaua‘i Branch (8 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
· Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank (8 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

Door-to-Door Assessments:

Yesterday, teams of County of Kaua‘i employees and American Red Cross volunteers went door-to-door through Kōloa in search of properties that have been impacted by the recent storm. On Friday, teams will resume going door-to-door through neighborhoods in Wailua, Keapana, Anahola, Moloa‘a, Wainiha and Hā‘ena. The County will continue conducting assessments of other storm-affected areas across the island.

Updates on Essential Services:

The following information provides the current status updates on power outages, water services, road closures and repairs, refuse collection and debris management, donation information, shelters, school closures, health advisories, and FAA restrictions.

Power Outages: Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative has announced that pole repairs were completed Thursday on Weke Road and at Waikoko. Power has been restored to all members on the North Shore including approximately 200 customers in Wainiha that were affected by an overnight outage. KIUC will continue to inspect facilities in areas that have experienced flood damage and respond to outages as they occur.

Water Services: The Department of Water has issued a “Do not drink” advisory for residents located along a portion of Kuhio Highway, between Manoa Stream and the Limahuli Stream area in Hā‘ena. DOW completed repairs to the mainline break in this affected area at approximately 3 p.m. Thursday. However due to the extent of damages and possible exposure of the service lines, DOW is advising residents not to drink or cook with tap water, as a precautionary measure, until further notice. A trailer-mounted water tank with potable water is available at Camp Naue.

A water outage continues for customers located along the Makai-end of Weke Road, near Black Pot Beach, until further notice, due to damages to the main line. A trailer-mounted water tank with potable water is available at the intersection of Pilikoa Street and Weke Road.

Princeville Utilities Co., Inc. continues to ask its customers to conserve water until further notice.

Refuse Collection and Debris Management: In an effort to assist the affected Hanalei community, the Department of Public Works will be conducting a refuse and bulky item collection for Hanalei residents on Friday, April 20. Residents are advised to place trash and bulky items curbside on the County Right of Way before 6:15 a.m. Friday.

Hanalei residents and businesses may also utilize the following services:

· Small bins staged at Waioli Park to dispose waste, green waste, and metal.
· The Hanalei refuse transfer station is currently accepting all debris up to three feet in length. Furniture and beds longer than three feet in length are also being accepted.
· The Princeville refuse transfer station is extending its hours to 5:15 p.m. until further notice.

In the Kōloa area, in the vicinity of Wailaau Road and Aloha Place, the County of Kaua‘i has provided two bins for general waste and two bins for other debris.

Refuse collection will occur for the upper Kahiliholo Road residents in Kīlauea, on Friday, April 20. The normal collection schedule will resume next week Tuesday.

All refuse transfer station green waste sites are fully operational.

Shelters: The American Red Cross shelter at the Kīlauea Gym has closed but remains on standby and will be reopened as needed for flooding victims.

School Closures: Hanalei Elementary School will remain closed for all students, teachers and staff through this week while the cleanup of damaged facilities continues.

Department of Health Advisories:

· Mosquito concerns: Mosquitoes can and will breed in areas of standing water. Apply mosquito repellent containing DEET to exposed skin and wear protective clothing, such as long sleeves, long pants, and covered shoes. If you’re located in an area that wasn’t as heavily impacted, get rid of standing water where you can. Department of Health vector control staff will be available to conduct mosquito abatement activities, including surveillance and treatment. Please call Environmental Health Vector Control at 241-3306.

· Stay out of brown water: Most of Kaua‘i remains under a brown water advisory. If the water is brown, stay out. The public is advised to stay out of floodwaters and storm water runoff due to possible overflowing cesspools, sewer, manholes, pesticides, animal fecal matter, dead animals, pathogens, chemicals, and associated flood debris. Do not allow children to play in floodwater areas. Continue to practice good personal hygiene by washing off with soap and clean water and washing hands before handling food.

· Practice good sanitation: Wash your hands often with soap and clean water to prevent spreading and contracting any illnesses, especially before handling and preparing food to avoid food contamination. If soap and clean water is unavailable, hand sanitizer may be used instead.

· Food safety tips: Make sure to throw away spoiled or unrefrigerated food to prevent foodborne illnesses. Minimize the presence of flies and rodents by disposing of food in covered and sealed containers.

· Get rid of items collecting mold: Exposure to mold can have harmful health effects. Mold can begin to grow within 24-48 hours after flooding. Remove standing water as quickly as possible. Take steps to dry out your home and remove wet materials and objects. Items that cannot be cleaned and dried within 24-48 hours should be discarded. Make sure to follow label instructions and wear protective gear (i.e. gloves, face masks, etc.) when using cleaners and disinfectants during the cleanup process.

Additional Resource Links:

· ready.hawaii.gov
· Flood Damage Claims FAQ
· Repairing Your Flooded Home
· Hawaiʻi Department of Health advises residents and visitors to avoid or limit exposure to flood waters

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