Saturday, February 10, 2001
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Posted on: Saturday, February 10, 2001

Rains flood areas on Kaua'i's north shore

By Jan TenBruggencate
Advertiser KauaÎi Bureau

LIHUE, Kauai — Torrential rains on the island’s north shore yesterday flooded hotel rooms at Princeville and shut down roads between Hanalei and Haena.

Civil Defense authorities said they received calls for sandbags to prevent floodwaters from entering businesses, and there was some flooding on lower floors of the Hanalei Bay Resort.

As water rushed through several residential properties at Wainiha, propane tanks ripped from their pipes and floated away. However, firefighters said there were no injuries. No evacuations or major damage was reported as of late yesterday.

The National Weather Service reported that Wainiha had nearly 9 inches of rain and Hanalei more than 10 inches in the 24 hours before 2 p.m. yesterday. By late afternoon, most of the rainfall had stopped. But a chance of heavy showers is forecast for today and tomorrow, and rain may linger through Monday.

"It came down pretty quick," the Hanalei Poi Co.’s Hobey Beck said of yesterday’s rain. Beck said he was unable to get a load of fresh poi to the interisland barge due to flooding. "They closed the road right ahead of me."

The main problem associated with the heavy rains was the rising of rivers islandwide. Kauai District state highways chief Steve Kyono said the Waimea River rose to within 4 feet of its banks, and the approaches to the Hanalei and Wainiha Bridges were impassable due to water pouring over the roads.

Hanalei Elementary School and Kula School near Kilauea were closed and students were sent home before K¬hi¯ Highway was closed by flooding near the Hanalei Bridge.

The American Red Cross opened emergency shelters for those unable to reach their homes, but the highway was reopened shortly before 4 p.m. as floodwaters subsided.

Road crews cleared debris at Lumahai and outside Waimea.

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