Courtesy: Fu Ohana
HANALEI, Hawaii (KHON2) — Multiple agencies on Kauai are responding to a major landslide along Kuhio Highway that prompted a roadway closure just before Hanalei Bridge, essentially isolating the North Shore community. Rocks and dirt continue to come down at the Hanalei Hill location.
Both lanes of Kuhio Highway near Hanalei Hill are closed before Hanalei Bridge.
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A single lane of Kuhio Highway at mile marker 4.5 near Waikoko is also impacted.
A Flash Flood Watch remains in effect for the island of Kaua‘i until at least Friday evening, according to the National Weather Service.
First responders have been mobilized in the area and are also able to access the North Shore community by boat and Air 1 operations for emergencies.
Meanwhile, the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative members from Hanalei to Hāʻena are advised to prepare for extended periods without power if outages occur while Kuhio Highway remains closed.
“Our North Shore community has been through so much over the years, and again they are called to overcome a great challenge with many unknowns at this time,” said Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami. “We want to assure our residents and visitors that we will get through this together. We understand that more rain is anticipated for Kaua‘i through at least Friday, so right now the best action to take is to shelter in place, stay off the roads, and stay tuned to updates which we will provide as more information becomes available.”
Due to limited access, the Ke’e and Haena towers are currently closed. Lifeguards on the North Roving Unit will be monitoring the Hanalei Bay area and are available to respond if necessary.
The highway is expected to remain closed until HDOT can safely assess and stabilize the slopes. Ongoing rainfall has made it unsafe to conduct the assessments and repairs needed to reopen the lanes at this time.
“We’re working on contingency plans to be able to get our trucks to these areas if there are outages, however it will be challenging,” stated Chief of Operations Brad Rockwell. “Access via helicopter will be limited by weather conditions.”
For updates on road conditions and closures, please call 241-1725. Please do not call Kaua‘i police 911 unless you have an emergency.