WAIMEA — Following a Tuesday landslide that isolated several families in Waimea past Menehune Road, the county and community have mobilized to help.
“As Menehune Road remains closed, it’s important for us to emphasize that the area is still very dangerous and that rocks are continuing to fall,” Mayor Derek Kawakami said in a statement. “For everyone’s safety, please do not go near the area until work is complete and it is deemed safe. We thank all our of partners for working diligently towards opening this road, and we especially thank our residents for your patience and coming together during this difficult time. We also want to give a special mahalo to Hawai‘i Food Bank Kaua‘i Chapter and Waimea High School for assisting in today’s food distribution, along with other community partners who are supporting our emergency response.”
Officials are announcing the following updates:
Road closure and slope stabilization
County contractors began rockfall mitigation work Friday, which included airlifting drilling equipment and materials to the slope above the roadway.
Initial side-slope boulder and rock removal will begin on Saturday. Part of the mitigation work will include forcing large boulders off the slope and onto the road.
Additionally, contractors will begin work to protect the road, waterline, and historic bridge from mitigation work.
Work will continue daily, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Officials anticipate it will take approximately three weeks to remove all rockfall hazards.
Emergency Access Route
The state Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) continues to work on opening an alternate emergency access route via UTV from Waimea Canyon Drive, located on State Forest Reserve land.
This access will serve as an emergency route for officials to deliver food and other urgent supplies to residents. It will not be open for public access until officials can deem the route safe for larger vehicles. The county is in communication with DLNR, and will provide updates on public access plans.
As of 6:30 p.m., Thursday, Spectrum has restored service to residents on Menehune Road, and Hawaiian Telcom restored service to customers on Friday.
Officials conducted another wellness check Friday and delivered food packages to residents.
While the road remains fully closed, crews will continue wellness checks and needs assessments in this area, as well as provide daily updates online at kauai.gov/KEMA.
In anticipation of an emergency access route being established, solid waste officials plan to conduct a trash pick-up on Monday.
Trash collection will be limited to household waste only.
Residents are asked to leave bagged trash in county refuse carts. Bulky items, green waste, and loose trash will not be collected at this time.
If anyone in the affected area requires assistance during work hours, please call the Kaua‘i Emergency Management Agency (KEMA) at 808-241-1800. After working hours, please call Kaua‘i Police Dispatch at 808-241-1711.
If you have an emergency and require immediate assistance, please call 911.
Those wishing to provide services or resources are asked to coordinate with KEMA.
Source: The Garden Island