Pounding deluge revisits Kauai


POSTED: Tuesday, December 16, 2008

LIHUE » Thunder, lightning and heavy downpours returned to Kauai yesterday afternoon just as cleanup crews began digging out from the weekend's strong wind and flooding rain.

National Weather Service rain gauges picked up between 6 inches and more than a foot of rain across the Garden Isle on Saturday and Sunday, while strong winds and even a possible tornado caused damage as well.

Seven homes on the West side were damaged over the weekend, county officials said yesterday, and they were working with the American Red Cross to determine the extent of the damage.

In an aerial tour of the island, county officials found crop damage to some sugar stalks on Gay & Robinson property, but no other structures were reported damaged, county officials added.

Polihale State Park will remain closed because the cane haul access road was damaged by recent heavy rain and remained impassable to vehicles, state officials said.

State park officials said it might take two to three weeks for the road to dry out sufficiently for road repairs to begin.

Until then the campground will be closed, and officials ask that residents with trucks and four-wheel-drive vehicles also give the area time to dry out before returning.

“;Last year, continued use of the road before it dried caused the condition of the road to further deteriorate, and delayed the reopening of the park,”; said Laura Thielen, director of the Department of Land and Natural Resources, in a press release.

“;We are concerned that people are putting themselves at risk because the condition of both roads inhibits the ability for emergency response vehicles to effectively respond if someone were to be injured in a surfing or fishing accident,”; she added.