THE KAUAI DAM CRISIS
COURTESY TO THE STAR-BULLETIN
Ka Loko Dam flood victims Aurora Fehring, Alan Dingwall and son Rowan Fehring-Dingwall are shown below in an undated photo.
Third victim’s body is found as memorial plans progress
KILAUEA, Kauai » While a search-and-rescue team scoured the Wailapa Stream for missing flood victims yesterday, friends planned a memorial service tomorrow for the seven people ripped from their homes Tuesday by the Ka Loko Dam breach.
Three bodies have already been found by the searchers, including a woman yesterday afternoon. And Kauai Mayor Bryan Baptiste said the search "will go on until we have exhausted all possibilities."
The body of Adam Dingwall, 30, was found in the ocean Tuesday, about a half-mile from the mouth of Kilauea Stream. Christina Macnees, 22, was identified yesterday after searchers found her body in the Wailapa Stream bed.
Also in the Kilauea Stream bed, the body of Aurora Fehring was found yesterday by searchers, who used heavy equipment to search a large pile of debris. While Fehring was not identified by police, she was the lone woman still missing after Macnees was identified.
Four others have not been found: Fehring and Dingwall's son, Rowan Fehring-Dingwall; Macnees' fiance, Daniel Arroyo; Timothy Noonan; and Wayne Rotstein.
Early yesterday, Bruce Fehring, Aurora's father, issued a statement through Kauai Hospice on behalf of his family to "extend our sincere mahalo to those who have surrounded us with their blessings, support and understanding ... the diligence and determination of all those who continue to search for the missing, and the kind assistance of the personnel at Kauai Hospice."
RICHARD WALKER / RWALKER@STARBULLETIN.COM
Water churned yesterday in the spillway at the edge of Waita Reservoir above Koloa, Kauai. Overflow from the reservoir, seen in the background, was running about 9 inches high.
In Wailapa Stream, searchers from the Hawaii Search and Rescue Task Force used an excavator for the first time yesterday to get into a pile of debris 10 feet high, 40 feet wide and 100 feet long that contained both tree trunks and part of the homes, said Department Battalion Chief Ed Simeona, leader of the task force. It was "of interest" to the search dogs, he said.
The search team will be back in the stream bed and the surrounding area this morning, county officials said.
Searchers have stayed out of Wailapa and Kilauea streams because of the uncertain conditions in the water, but if conditions improve, Simeona said divers might be brought in to help with the search.
Boats are available as well. "We've got the resources should they need it," said county public information officer Mary Daubert.
Simeona acknowledged that as time goes by, the chances of finding someone alive dims, but the operation is still considered a search and rescue, rather than an effort to recover bodies.
"We never want to say 'recovery' until we come across a recovery. It will always be a search," he added.
Elsewhere on Kauai's North Shore, friends planned a memorial service for the victims at the Church of the Pacific in Princeville tomorrow from 3 to 9 p.m.
"It's a memorial service, a wake," said Millicent Cummings, who is organizing the event. "It's to honor their life but it's for everyone."
RICHARD WALKER / RWALKER@STARBULLETIN.COM
The usually gentle S-curve of stream behind Koloa resident Neal Iseri's home turned into a raging torrent Thursday and was still flowing heavily yesterday with runoff from Waita Reservoir.
Cummings was supposed to go to the wedding of Arroyo and Macnees today and then host the Wahine Fest tomorrow. She canceled the Wahine Fest when she learned of the couple's death and figured the entire North Shore could use an event where people could express their grief.
It is a potluck, and the musical acts that were to perform at the Wahine Fest will instead be at the service.
"It's not a replacement for the wedding, the Wahine Fest," Cummings added. "It's a place to come and grieve through music and to talk story. Anyone can come and say anything they want."
Arroyo and Macnees were supposed to be standing on the top of a small waterfall in the Anahola Taro patch today, overlooking Anahola Bay, with family and friends looking on as they tied the knot.
Instead, Manulele Clarke, who was supposed to wed them in a traditional Hawaiian ceremony, will make an appearance at the memorial service tomorrow.
"They were happy and so excited," Clarke said. "They were a lot like children. ... Their eyes were all big" and intense as she told them about the ceremony she would perform for them.
It was supposed to include traditional chants for cleansing, a lei ceremony and a specific blessing just for them.
Sunny, as Macnees was nicknamed, "was part Alaskan Indian from Alaska, so she really identified and understood," Clarke added. "They talked about how they loved Kauai and Hawaii, and they wanted to share in" the culture.
They even discussed the rain a few weeks ago. Clarke said the couple should consider a backup plan, as the taro patch gets muddy, "but they didn't want to think about it. They were going to remain positive."
Sunny, who "looked nine months pregnant," not seven, and Arroyo were already married in Clarke's eyes. The ceremony was just for the families to come together.
"She was so precious, and he just loved to look at her," Clarke added.
Arroyo "was an honest, good person that the island will miss," said Cummings. "Daniel was an awesome young, bright soul, a kind-hearted person."
"Sunny was literally a flower of a person," Cummings added.