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Barbara5353 Mar 15th, 2006 05:46 PM

Changing Kauai Plans?
 
The weather-related problems are very severe. I heard that cars are lined up for miles near the airport with tourists trying to leave the island. It sounds as if clean-up might take quite awhile. I was wondering if anyone is thinking of changing upcoming travel plans?

auntiemaria Mar 15th, 2006 07:23 PM

There is no reason to change travel plans -- the worst is over (she said, hopefully). 8-)

jamaltay Mar 15th, 2006 09:16 PM

I am not changing anything. I can't wait to get there.
((d))8-)

jah043 Mar 15th, 2006 11:43 PM

I'll be there in three weeks for a wedding on the south side. However, I read that the Waita Reservoir is starting to breach, is this correct? In any case, I love Kauai, there is no way I'm not going there. I was there after Iniki, this can't be that bad. Then again, it is making the news here in Chicago, so who knows.

Good luck, I am praying that the winds pick up and blow the rain out of there.

kakalena Mar 16th, 2006 05:01 AM

It would depend on whether it continues to rain and where you stay I would think. Do you know that the wettest spot on earth is on Kauai?

There hasn't been much accurate detail about this disaster. As I understand it 300 million gallons of water swept down a hillside. It cut a path between 100 feet and 250 feet wide and the depth has been reported between 30 feet and 50 feet.

Most of the development on Kauai is along the coast, downhill from the watershed. The island is fairly primitive (but generally) effective in terms of its water distribution. They use many, many reservoirs and water tanks in strategic locations for each community so your potential for disaster is multiplied.

The local enginneering community has repeatedly warned about a catastrophic failure like this but their warnings have been ignored.

The failure occurred at 5:30AM when people were sleeping. If I had plans to go to Kauai in the next few days, I'd find out if there was a dam upstream of the property where I was going to stay. Look on a map and you can see most of the reservoir or ask your hotel or rental owner.

Even if you were awake and driving down a highway you still could be swept away by a deluge but those odds are a little better for you.

I'd wait for the rain to stop. For your future planning, May is a good time to go and its warmer and the ocean calmer.

I know people on the devastated mountainside and its a terrible, violent tragedy that happened to that community. One man was found a mile out to sea and some may never be found including a child.




kakalena Mar 16th, 2006 05:34 AM

Here's a report from CNN with video. They say 500 million gallons of water.

http://edition.cnn.com/2006/US/03/15...=edition_world

Here is more about the missing people.

Kaua'i police today identified seven people who disappeared when the Kaloko Reservoir burst.

The names of the missing, as given by police, are Daniel Arroyo, Alan Dingwall, Aurora Fehring, Rowan Fehring-Dingwall, Christina Macnees, Timothy Noonan and Wayne Rotstein.

Most live along Wailapa Road in Kilauea.

Although police identified her as Christina Macnees, Paul Burns said his sister's name was Kristina McNeese. She was seven-months pregnant and was scheduled to marry Arroyo on Saturday, Burns said.

Rotstein was the maintenance man and landscaper at the home of Bruce Fehring, a real estate agent and principal broker on Kaua'i, according to Rotstein's brother, Gary Rotstein.

Bruce Fehring is missing his daughter, Aurora Fehring, her husband and his two-year-old grandchild who lived in cabins near the banks of Wailapa Stream, usually a gentle-moving tributary of Kilauea Stream that is known for a small waterfall and wading pool nicknamed "Bette Midler's Falls."

Kaua'i officials still have not identified the 30-year-old man whose body was found 1 mile off shore Kilauea Bay by the Coast Guard yesterday.

gmac Mar 16th, 2006 05:37 AM

I have plans to be in Princeville next Friday, and do not plan on changing them. I am very upset over what has happened, but feel that "its" done. Now, is time for cleanup and "healing" for those missing/dead.
Besides, for us, it wouldn't be vacation on the North Shore without some rain!!

kakalena Mar 16th, 2006 05:58 AM

It may not be over gmac.

NOAA Bulletin

THE FLASH FLOOD WATCH CONTINUES FOR

* ALL HAWAIIAN ISLANDS.

* THROUGH THURSDAY AFTERNOON

* AN UPPER LEVEL LOW WILL CONTINUE TO BRING HEAVY RAINFALL AND THE
THREAT OF FLASH FLOODING TO ALL OF THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS THIS
WEEK. PRIOR RAINS HAVE ALSO FILLED WAITA RESERVOIR IN SOUTHEAST
KAUAI TO NEAR CAPACITY. THIS PLACES RESIDENTS ALONG WAIKOMO
STREAM AND IN KOLOA UNDER THREAT OF SEVERE FLASH FLOODING IF THE
WAITA RESERVOIR DAM FAILS. THE MORITA RESERVOIR DAM...DOWNSTREAM
FROM THE BREACHED KALOKO DAM IN NORTHEAST KAUAI...IS ALSO AT
RISK TO FAIL ESPECIALLY IF ADDITIONAL HEAVY RAINS OCCUR.

* RESIDENTS AND VISITORS IN THE KOLOA AREA AND DOWNSTREAM OF
MORITA DAM IN NORTHEAST KAUAI ARE URGED TO BE PREPARED TO TAKE QUICK
ACTION IN THIS POTENTIALLY VERY DANGEROUS SITUATION.

auntiemaria Mar 16th, 2006 06:13 AM

Realize please, that flood warnings and flood watches are a way of life here in the islands -- happens every winter. Anyone who resides in a flood zone, knows to take precautions. This tragedy here on Kaua`i was a fluke -- no one could have predicted that the dam would burst, turning a trickling stream into a raging wall of destruction ao quickly.

When the warnings are announced via the media, everyone is told to be cautious...don't drive across moving streams, don't go hiking, stay out of the rivers...and if you're in low-lying areas, move to higher ground.

As for "wettest place on earth" -- it's Mt. Wai`ale`ale, not the entire island. :-)

kakalena Mar 16th, 2006 06:50 AM

Hi Auntie Marie,

I said that the wettest spot on earth was ON Kauai. Yes that is Mt. Wai`ale`ale. So we are in agreement there. It's elevation is also 5000 feet and water runs downhill.

Yes, flooding is a way of life in Kauai but NOAA has warned that Morita Dam and Waita Dam are at risk.

I wouldn't downplay the circumstances to Kauai visitors. It's better that they are aware of the potential breaks and plan accordingly.

The availability of gas, food, water or electricity is only an inconvenience. Whether your child will be swept away by a dam break is something else.

If you are scheduled to stay in hotels/houses in these areas keep in touch with a potentially changing situation.

You will have to depend on your self if something happens. It's not a high tech quick response kind of place.

I tuned into Civil Defense radio there once during a particularly violent gale...no TV stations on Kauai...and very little information was available. Be prepared.

Ashley24 Mar 16th, 2006 08:20 AM

What areas are the ones to worry most about?

kakalena Mar 16th, 2006 08:35 AM

The Honolulu Advertiser has the best article on this. Look way down at the bottom for affected areas. There are maps.

http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/ap...0325/1001/NEWS


Lots of other good articles over there too about the Hawaii dam system in general.

The American Society of Civil Engineers' committee on embankments, dams and slopes issued a report last year and, as it did in 2001, gave Hawai'i's state-regulated dams a D grade.



iamq Mar 16th, 2006 08:43 AM

Sadly, what this underscores is how out of date and dilapidated our country's infrastucture is.

Kakalena, do any of those articles you reference mention that they are draining some of the other resevoirs to ease the pressure? I read that this morning or last night.

-Bill

kakalena Mar 16th, 2006 09:04 AM

Yes,

They had pumps going through the night to bring the levels down and relieve pressure. This is a very good article about that.

http://story.hawaiitelegraph.com/p.x...7ec7a35065289/

kakalena Mar 16th, 2006 09:07 AM

Sorry, That linked to the wrong page. some sort of glitch. Here is the info.

Crews work hard overnight on Kauai
Ron Mizutani


It was a long night and a long day for Garden Island residents.

Many people didn't get to bed on Tuesday night, so others could have some sense of normalcy on Wednesday. But a wet night made their jobs tougher.

City crews and private contractors are working together at Morita Reservoir.

Their goal is to lower water levels at the swollen dam.

It's nearly midnight now and these pumps have been going strong for about six hours, releasing about 20,000 gallons of water every 30 minutes, and that's lowered the water level at this dam significantly.

"At least maybe eight feet, six feet down from the original level," says Mike Bandmann, pump attendant.

A second pump speeds up the process and adds efficiency. Sunrise and the Army Corps of Engineers would soon arrive.

Over on the south side of the island, at Knudsen Gap on Kaumuali'i Highway, contractors battle the clock as well -- working on a pesky mudslide.

"All night, bruddah, so far as long as the rain keeps up, you know, got to keep on going," says Dana Palama, crane operator. "A lot of dirt."

Traffic is down to just one lane for several hours. Their goal is to clear the area before the morning rush-hour.

"All day long cars were all back up so we've got to do what we can do now, work all night if we got to," says Kyle Blackstad, contractor.

And if it's not mudslides, drivers are forced to maneuver through flooded roads and highways. But in some areas, like Poipu, driving isn't even a possibility.

At sunrise, it's apparent the hard overnight work has paid off.

Pumps have lowered water levels at Morita Dam by 20 feet. The dam is no longer a threat.

"We do have the green light to go in and do some construction, repair the road and get this open," says Scott Ishikawa, State Transportation spokesperson.

Sometimes in television things can appear to be two-dimensional, so we wanted to give you a perspective of how tall and how wide and how powerful this wall of water was that came over the Morita Dam. The mountain of debris behind me is at least 30 to 40 feet high, and that's how tall that mountain of water was that came over the dam -- the width was at least 100 yards.

Sunrise also sheds light on flooding across the island. The Coconut Market Place has no space for more water.

And in Hanapepe, a thick sheet of mud blankets the town.

"Plenty rain, plenty mud; rivers, streams can not handle. First time I see this," says Chason Manoi, Kalaheo resident. \

There was more flooding in Waimea. Residents evacuate after the Waimea River rises.

It's hard not to think about Kilauea.

"Everybody suffers, it devastates the whole island, it's a big family here on Kauai," says Darla Abbatiello, Kauai Police Department.

It's an island family that's suffering, but not destroyed.


teresazona Mar 16th, 2006 01:04 PM

We are going to Kauai for the month of April and have no plans on changing our plans.

Barbara5353 Mar 18th, 2006 05:50 AM

The latest report I saw is that all beaches on Kauai are closed. The governor has asked that people stay off the roads as much as possible, and is requesting that the island be declared a federal disaster area. I've been to Kauai many times, including some very rainy trips. The current situation certainly does not seem to be just a typical event. Being older and no longer much of a risk-taker, I've changed my travel plans. Those who are still planning to go to Kauai in the very near future are, hopefully, prepared to be flexible. I'll look forward to some trip reports from repeat visitors comparing this travel experience to those of the past.

Lauricelli Mar 18th, 2006 09:05 AM

We have/had plans to be on Kauai on this coming Friday the 24th. We are probably going to postpone this trip. Our accomodations are in Princeville. I am checking the news everyday. We've been to all the island several times. Yes, it does rain quite a bit, you can count on it. It wouldn't be green if it didn't.

If the rain keeps up I think being a visitor at this time wouldn't be helpful to the efforts to get everything under control. On the other hand, visitors bring in money. Take your pick. I just hope it does stop raining so they can get some relief.

auntiemaria Mar 18th, 2006 11:44 AM

Barbara5353:
Don't know where you're getting your information, but the only beach which is officially closed, is Lydgate. All other beaches are open -- but the ocean is brown, so only the fool-hearty would go in.

Lauricelli:
I don't often tell folks "don't come to Kaua`i" (well...not _too_ often, anyway!) -- but this time it's different. You are wise to change your plans to come right now -- our island is soggy, soggy, soggy and it's going to take more than a few days of sunshine to dry us back to "normal".

teresazona Mar 18th, 2006 02:17 PM

Auntie Maria, now you have me worried about coming to Kauai on April 3rd. We are staying in the Princeville area. It would be very difficult to change plans now. We are staying for four weeks, so maybe things will start to get better. I'm trying to be optomistic about the whole situation.


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