Kauai News

Public Advised to Prepare for Passing Kona Low Storm

Posted December 7, 2021, 11:05 AM HST

County officials advise residents and island visitors to remain vigilant and prepared as the Kona Low storm system passes through the state.

Kaua‘i County remains under a flash flood watch through 6 p.m., Tuesday. The watch could be extended, dropped, or modified as conditions develop.

“We are fortunate to have had little impact to Kaua‘i so far. However, as we are seeing on other islands, we are not yet out of the woods,” said County Managing Director Michael A. Dahilig. “We continue to remain alert, engaged with our county-, state-, federal-, and non-government partners, and stand ready to respond to any impacts. Again, we highly discourage any hiking, swimming, and other outdoor activities during these hazardous conditions.”

The brunt of the storm’s effect struck Hawaiʻi island, Maui and Molokaʻi on Sunday, Dec. 5, and overnight, washing out roads, knocking out power, and flooding stream beds, drainage channels and low-lying areas. High tides and high surf also contributed to flooding near ports and river mouths.

The low-pressure system driving the rains continued to rotate and shifted westward Monday, Dec. 6, drawing tropical moisture in bands over the state. Effects on the eastern islands are expected to subside gradually, but heavy rain and wind were expected to build over Honolulu and Oʻahu Monday and gradually move over Kauaʻi by Monday night or Tuesday.

Portions of the island of Maui saw as much as 12 inches of rain overnight, while Oʻahu and Kauaʻi could see similar downpours and high winds in the days ahead, state officials reported.

As officials continue to monitor stream levels and roadways around the island, the public is reminded that ponding, low visibility, and other hazardous driving conditions are expected.

The Wailua Golf Course is closed today. Updates will be provided after officials assess the weather and golf course conditions on Wednesday.

Green waste collection at the Līhu‘e refuse transfer station is closed today. The Kapa‘a and Hanalei refuse transfer station is only accepting trash and all other services are currently closed.

The public is reminded that trash collection service may experience interruptions this week due to weather impacts.

Additionally, state Department of Health’s Clean Water Branch has issued a brown water advisory for Kaua‘i. The public is advised to stay out of floodwaters and stormwater runoff due to possible overflowing cesspools, sewer, manholes, pesticides, animal fecal matter, dead animals, pathogens, chemicals, and associated flood debris. According to the CWB, not all coastal areas may be impacted by runoff; however, if the water is brown, stay out.

How to Prepare for a Weather Emergency

Emergency Preparedness Kits – Emergency preparedness 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 your kits. Set aside an emergency supply of any needed medication and keep a copy of your prescriptions in case you run out of medication after a disaster.

Check Your 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 your gutters and other drainage systems.

Make an Action Plan – Discuss with family members what you plan to do if a 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.

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. Know before you go. For up-to-date information about Kaua‘i ocean conditions and ocean safety, speak to a county lifeguard, visit www.hawaiibeachsafety.com, or call the Ocean Safety Bureau at 808-241-4984.

Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative – Visit http://website.kiuc.coop/ to learn more about how to prepare for a power outage.

Kaua‘i Department of Water – 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 emergency water service disruptions by having the recommended water storage supply readily available for essential uses. For more water emergency preparedness tips, visit www.kauaiwater.org or www.facebook.com/KauaiDOW.

Visitor Information – Visitors should confirm flight arrangements with their airlines prior to heading to the airport. Visitors can review the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority’s travel safety tips at http://www.travelsmarthawaii.com. A copy of their brochure can also be downloaded from the site.

Stay Tuned – Continue to stay tuned to local media broadcast channels for the most up-to-date information with Kaua‘i Emergency Management Agency   and the National Weather Service or automated weather line at 808-245-6001.

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