Officials announced the following updates for the Waimea community affected by the rockslide that occurred on Menehune Road on Jan. 4.
Road Closure and Slope Stabilization
Menehune Road is expected to remain fully closed for roughly three weeks, until the slope above the roadway can be stabilized and is deemed safe for daily passing. Contractors will continue to work seven days a week, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., until the slope is stabilized.
Starting Jan. 11, contractors are securing the Waimea Swinging Bridge from further damage. This work is expected to take roughly four days, from Tuesday through Friday. Slope stabilization activities will continue once the bridge is secure.
While repairs are underway, large, loose boulders will continue to fall onto the roadway below. The public is reminded not to cross or approach the rockfall site at any time. Doing so could result in severe injury or death. Please heed all warning signs around the construction zone.
Waimea Swinging Bridge
Contractors continue to assess damage to Waimea Swinging Bridge. However, repair work to the bridge cannot begin until the slope is stabilized. Given the historic nature of the bridge, officials expect this to be a long-term repair project. Understanding that the pedestrian bridge is an important point of access to Makaweli residents, officials will continue to work with residents on continued needs. Makaweli residents requiring assistance are urged to contact the Kaua‘i Emergency Management Agency (KEMA) at 808-241-1800.
The Kekaha Ag Association, E Ola Mau Na Leo O Kekaha, Hawai‘i FoodBank – Kaua‘i Branch (HFB-Kaua‘i), and Kumano I Ke Ala organized a food distribution Jan. 11, for the affected residents in Waimea Valley.
The next food distribution is planned for Friday. If needed, further food distributions will take place with the continued closure of Menehune Road.
Mahalo to the additional partners who contributed to today’s food distribution:
· KIUC provided bags to pack food donations;
· HFB-Kaua‘i procured the food, with additional food donated from Chad Buck of Hawai‘i Foodservice Alliance to HFB-Kaua‘i;
· Waimea Hongwanji provided space to stage and assemble household food donation bags;
· West Kaua‘i Christian Center provided volunteers to pack bags for distribution;
· County officials delivered food via Panini Road to affected households on Menehune Road;
· Council Member Billy DeCosta brought food to the households in Makaweli valley;
· Council Chair Arryl Kaneshiro, Hawai‘i Community Foundation, Kamehameha Schools, Vandersloot Foundation, and Nourish Kauai are also supporting partners.
Panini Road Emergency Access Route
The State Department of Land and Natural Resources has opened an alternate emergency access route from Waimea Canyon Drive, known as Panini Road. The Panini Road access is limited to local residents and first responders via 4 x 4 usage only.
All utilities in the area have since been restored, including power, water, phone and cable/internet services.
Wellness Checks/Needs Assessment
KEMA continues to coordinate door-to-door wellness checks to residents along Menehune Road and on the Makaweli-side of the river. Officials thank all community partners who have donated food, pet food, and other supplies. While the road remains fully closed, crews will continue wellness checks and needs assessments in this area, as well as provide daily updates online at http://www.kauai.gov/KEMA.
The county’s Agency on Elderly Affairs is conducting wellness checks specifically for kupuna in the area, age 60 and older. If you have a kupuna that has not yet been contacted by the Agency on Elderly Affairs, please contact their office at 808-241-4470.
The Elderly Affairs team conducted door-to-door outreach with kupuna care packages Tuesday, Jan. 11.
Solid Waste officials conducted a trash pick-up Jan. 11. Residents are asked to leave their bagged trash in their refuse carts on Monday, Jan. 17, for early-morning pickup on Tuesday, Jan. 18.
Refuse collection will be limited to bagged household waste only. Bulky items, green waste, and loose trash will not be collected at this time. Those without refuse carts are asked to contain their bagged household waste in a covered trash receptacle at the side of the road immediately adjacent to their driveway. The covered trash receptacle is intended to prevent animals from scattering items placed out for collection. Trash receptacles must not exceed 50 pounds, and more than one receptacle will be accepted.
Officials continue to work with USPS officials to establish mail service. Updates will be provided once confirmed.
Families with school-aged children who have limited internet access were provided MiFi devices by the Department of Education to assist children with distance learning options during the road closure. If you have a school-aged child who needs assistance with distance learning options, please contact KEMA at 808-241-1800.
If anyone in the affected area requires assistance during work hours, call the Kaua‘i Emergency Management Agency (KEMA) at 808-241-1800. After working hours, call Kaua‘i Police Dispatch at 808-241-1711. If you have an emergency and require immediate assistance, call 911.
Those wishing to provide services or resources are asked to coordinate with KEMA.
A daily newsletter with up-to-date information will continue to be posted online. To view, visit www.kauai.gov/KEMA and click on the blue button at the top of the page labeled “Waimea Valley Rockslide.”