Wednesday, March 24, 2004

4 on foot rescued as
heavy rain hits Big Isle

Two hikers in the rugged Waimanu Valley on the Big Island were rescued by Hawaii County firefighters about 9:15 a.m. yesterday as heavy rain soaked much of the island. Rescue workers began searching after the pair was reported missing Monday afternoon.

In a separate incident in the vicinity, Hawaii County firefighters pulled two people from a fast-moving river near Honokaa about 2:30 p.m.

The Fire Department did not release the names of any of the four victims.

Heavy rain saturated the east and northeast sections of the Big Island yesterday. Honokaa received 5 inches of rain over the 24 hours that ended at 5 p.m. yesterday, according to the National Weather Service.

Both rescues were while flash-flood warnings were in effect. The weather service has since downgraded the warnings to a flash-flood watch.

More wet weather is expected for the next several days, said Bob Farrell, weather service lead forecaster.

A spokesman for the Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency said damage to a county water main disrupted water service in Kapaau for about an hour yesterday afternoon. North Kohala was without water for about an hour until crews restored service about 3 p.m.


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