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Firefighters rescue 4; most power restored

Four people were rescued from rising waters on Wednesday following a stormy night when rain and winds hammered Kauai.

Shortly after 6:30 a.m., Kaiakea firefighters were dispatched to a distressed female who reported being trapped in her car due to flood waters on Hauaala Road in Kapaa. While en route to the scene, the woman reported to police dispatch that water was rising fast around her vehicle, a county press release said.

Rescuers advised the woman to open her window and climb onto the roof of her vehicle. Once on scene, personnel located the woman on top her vehicle, which was surrounded by about four feet of fast-moving water.

Firefighters used a rescue board, along with a rescue tube and fins, and proceeded toward the woman, the release said. The woman was brought safely back to the non-flooded area of the road and was not hurt.

About 7 a.m., Hanapepe firefighters were dispatched to Hanapepe Valley for a report of three people trapped on top of the roof of a structure due to flood waters. Once on scene, firefighters used a floatation device and surf board to bring all individuals to safety. No injuries were reported.

A flash-flood warning was in effect for Kauai from about 4 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, closing major roads due to flooding conditions, along with fallen trees, utility lines and debris. All roads have since been reopened.

A tree swept down the Hanapepe River remains stuck to the Hanapepe swinging bridge, which remains closed.

Morgan’s Pond at Lydgate Park was filled with debris Thursday, brought in from the storm.

Muddy waters also reached inside the Waimea Theatre, near the stage, per a photo from the county.

Mount Waialeale received about 20 inches of rain over a 24-hour period ending Wednesday morning. Winds reached 50 mph in Lihue at the height of the storm.

Beth Tokioka, spokeswoman with Kauai Island Utility Cooperative, said at its peak about 10,0000 customers were without power on Christmas due to high winds impacting trees and power lines. Most were back online late Wednesday.

Thursday afternoon, KIUC was restoring power to about 200 members, and crews were working into the night with hopes to restore all power.

There were new outages Thursday afternoon affecting Anahola, Moloaa and Kilauea, because as crews were restoring power on the North Shore a tree branch came into contact with a line near the Princeville Airport. Power was restored to affected members within an hour.

“We continue to work on some scattered outages from yesterday, including a large cluster in Kokee of roughly 100 meters,” Tokioka wrote Thursday.
Source: The Garden Island

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