Search for 4 flood victims to end tomorrow
About 40 people working in two teams comb a wider area
LIHUE » The search for the four people still missing after last Tuesday's Ka Loko Dam breach will likely be called off tomorrow, according to Kauai Mayor Bryan Baptiste.
Baptiste said yesterday he was going to spend the afternoon with the families of the missing "to explain to them what steps will be taken from here on."
SEARCH FOR DAM VICTIMS:
'We're committed until at least Wednesday'
Kauai Mayor Bryan Baptiste plans to spend this afternoon with the families to talk with them about the search operation.
Christina Macnees, 22: Seven months pregnant, she was getting married
Aurora Fehring, 24: Found amid debris in Kilauea Stream bed
Alan Dingwall, 30: Found in ocean Tuesday half-mile from stream
Rowan Fehring-Dingwall: Toddler has yet to be found
Daniel Arroyo, 33: Would have wed Macnees last Saturday
Timothy Noonan: Moved to house two days before it was swept away
Wayne Rotstein, 49: Landscaped property where he rented a cabin
The search teams, about 40 people working in two groups, have scoured the 1.5-mile area around Kilauea and Wailapa streams, as well as in boats around Kilauea Bay. Baptiste said, "We're committed until at least Wednesday" to keep rescuers in the area.
Kauai Fire Chief Robert Westerman said rescuers were spreading out, "backing up, and starting again" yesterday after spending the last few days searching areas the search dogs felt were "hot spots."
All of the spots identified by the dogs had been searched by yesterday afternoon, Westerman said. Rescuers spent the day spreading over a wider circle, including debris lines along the ocean.
Daniel Arroyo, Timothy Noonan, Wayne Rotstein and Rowan Fehring-Dingwall have not been found. The bodies of Christina Macnees, Aurora Fehring and Alan Dingwall have been recovered.
Westerman said that there was no evidence of any illegal campers on Kahili Quarry Beach who could have been in the path of the massive amount of water as it hit the ocean.
Meanwhile, representatives of retired auto dealer James Pflueger, part-owner of Ka Loko Reservoir, were worried about another of Pflueger's reservoirs this week. Pflueger owns the Ka Loko Reservoir with the Mary Lucas Trust, of which he is among the beneficiaries.
Bob Masuda, deputy director for the Department of Land and Natural Resources, said Pflueger's representatives were called to Puu Ka Ele Dam above Pilaa because of the high level of water in the dam. Workers wanted to widen the spillway by taking out gates and cleaning out debris to get more water out of the reservoir, Masuda said.
State DLNR engineers agreed, and the work was 50 percent completed within hours, Masuda said.
Elsewhere, federal and state dam engineers, in four teams spread out around Kauai, are expected to continue inspecting the island's other 52 private dams until Friday, Masuda said. A seven-page report on all privately owned dams will be made public after the county and the dam owners have viewed them, he said.
The reports will include suggestions on how to improve the safety of the dams and the reservoirs, Masuda said.
"There's a dam above just about everything" on Kauai, Baptiste said.
Visual inspections of about half of Kauai's 54 dams were conducted yesterday, said Mary Daubert, Kauai County spokeswoman. None of the dams inspected were in danger of failing, she added.
Puu Ka Ele and Ka Lo reservoirs have been fitted with radio sensors to modify water levels. Two other reservoirs, Waita and Alexander, are scheduled to receive monitors.
Those interested in learning about the status of Ka Loko and Puu Ka Ele can log on to the U.S. Geological Survey Web site at hi.water.usgs.gov, Daubert added.