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Kona low could bring heavy rain to Kaua‘i

LIHU‘E — Kaua’i County officials are once again urging island residents to be mindful of another weather disturbance approaching the Garden Island.

The National Weather Service (NWS) announced that the state of Hawai‘i could experience severe weather conditions later this week and extending through the weekend. A flood watch for Kaua‘i and the rest of the Hawaiian chain is currently in effect, with the island already seeing pre-frontal showers.

“Officials with the National Weather Service are forecasting severe weather from a Kona low to reach Kaua‘i starting Friday and continuing through the weekend,” said Kaua‘i Emergency Management Agency Administrator Elton Ushio.

Forecasters with NWS report a Kona low is developing north of the state and could bring heavy rain and thunderstorms over portions of the state.

County, state, and federal officials are already monitoring the situation and are actively coordinating in preparation for the weather event.

Residents are reminded that roads and most importantly Kuhio Highway, near the Hanalei Bridge, may need to be closed with short to no advanced notice. Other services and utilities can and could also be disrupted.

“Given the nature of recent heavy rain events, we urge everyone to stay vigilant and avoid outdoor activities in flood-prone areas like roadways, rivers/streams, and low-lying areas,” Ushio added.

Remember, due to the high volume of calls during April’s flood event, the Kauai Police Department (KPD) is advising residents that if they encounter any weather-related issues or road blockage to not call KPD dispatch, as those calls interfere with 911 emergency calls.

Residents are asked to call 808-241-1725. For weather questions, call the NWS automated weather line at 808-245-6001.

Officials recommend the following actions when preparing for a weather emergency:

• Have an emergency kit ready with at least a 14-day supply of food and water. The kit should include nonperishable food and 1 gallon of water per person along with a battery-powered radio, flashlight, extra prescription medication and other items specific to individual needs. It is also recommended that face coverings and hand sanitizer also be included in your kits. Set aside an emergency supply of any needed medication and keep a copy of prescriptions in case you run out of medication after a disaster.

• Check your property, walk your property, take pictures and check for outdoor items that could be picked up by high winds. If time permits clear your gutters.

• Check outdoor activities, all active visitors and residents are highly urged to check conditions before venturing out on any hiking, river, or beach excursions. Do not cross any high rivers or streams; always check with a lifeguard station before entering the ocean.

• Lastly, make a plan and discuss with family members what the plan of action is if severe weather threatens. Make an action plan including details, such as whether your family will shelter in place or evacuate to a shelter. There are no plans to open shelters at this time. However, the county will work with the American Red Cross to open shelters on an as-needed basis and will announce a list of open shelters if or when they become available.

“With inclement weather forecast this week, we strongly advise everyone to avoid outdoor activities during these conditions. Rescues during heavy weather events are highly complex and dangerous, putting our first responders and those they assist at significant risk,” warned Kaua’i Fire Department Chief Michael Gibson.

To sign up for the Wireless Emergency Notification System (WENS), the county’s emergency notification service, please visit www.kauai.gov/KEMA and click “WENS.” You may also call the Kaua‘i Emergency Management Agency at 808-241-1800.
Source: The Garden Island

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