Portions of Kūhiō Highway Remain Closed; Response Ongoing After Severe Weather Impacts
Kūhiō Highway closures will be maintained until officials can safely assess the amount of damage after a landslide covered the roadway by Hanalei Hill.
Hawai‘i Department of Transportation officials anticipate the closure of Kūhiō Highway at Hanalei Hill will extend at least through Tuesday, March 16.
For the past few days, the Hawaiian Islands have been under various flood warnings and advisories with damage reported on Kaua‘i, O‘ahu and Maui. As of this afternoon, March 11, the Kaua‘i Emergency Management Agency’s (KEMA) Emergency Operations Center remains activated, and multiple agencies are responding to the severe weather impacts. A Flash Flood Watch remains in effect for the island of Kaua‘i until at least Friday evening, according to the National Weather Service.
Despite the cutoff access to Hanalei, Kaua‘i officials assured that first responders will be able to approach the North Shore community by boat and Air 1 operations for emergency calls. The public is reminded not to call 911 unless it’s an emergency.
Food supplies are available at stores and food pantries in the affected areas. The county is working on coordinating a system to bring in additional food and medical supplies for the community as needed.
The county is beginning to conduct assessments of storm-affected areas across the island. If your home suffered damages as a result of the March flooding, visit www.kauai.gov/kema and click on the green link “March 2021 Rain Damage/Flood Reporting” to complete a form.
The information you provide will help to gather necessary data which may be used to determine whether or not certain federal aid is made available to residents of Kaua‘i and/or the State of Hawai‘i. For assistance on how to fill out the form, you may call KEMA at 241-1800.
See additional road closures and county services impacted by the current weather event below.
Current Road Closures:
·Both lanes of Kūhiō Highway, at the Hanalei Hill, approaching Hanalei Bridge remains closed due to a landslide.
·Kūhiō Highway, between Kolopua Apartments and Hanalei Plantation Road, remains closed out of an abundance of caution. The area will be assessed, and more information provided shortly.
·One lane of Kūhiō Highway at mile marker 4.5 near Waikoko is currently open to alternating traffic.
Refuse Service: There will be no refuse collection on Friday for residents in the Hanalei to Hā‘ena areas. Officials are working on solutions for refuse service and will announce updates when more information is available.
Ocean Safety: Due to limited access, the Kē‘ē and Hā‘ena lifeguard towers are currently closed. Lifeguards on the North Roving Patrol Unit will continue to monitor the Hanalei Bay area during normal work hours and are available to respond to calls if necessary.
Schools: The state Department of Education announces that Hanalei Elementary School is currently closed.
Power Outages: Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC) members from Hanalei to Hā‘ena are advised to prepare for extended periods without power if outages occur while Kūhiō Highway remains closed. The KIUC Facebook page will provide status reports, and the outage map on the homepage of the cooperative’s website is another resource for current information: www.kiuc.coop.
Water Services: Department of Water (DOW) also advises residents on water emergency preparedness and service advisories that may be issued during an emergency. For more preparedness tips and service announcements, visit www.facebook.com/KauaiDOW.
Stay Out of Standing Water: For the latest updates on brown water advisories, visit DOH’s Clean Water Branch website at http://health.hawaii.gov/cwb/. 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.
Updates will be posted as information becomes available. Official county press releases are posted at www.kauai.gov or you may follow the County of Kaua‘i Facebook page at www.facebook.com/countyofkauai.