Kauai recovering from storm damage

principal Corey Nakamura
principal Corey Nakamura

KAUAI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Several days of intense rain filled the Kaloko Reservoir and others on Kauai with muddy water. The Department of Land and Natural Resources said the floodwater did start to spill through the previously breached section at Kaloko by about six inches on Tuesday, but the water was no longer going over the spillway on Wednesday.

"We weren't too concerned about it. We had done some inspections last month as well as the previous phase two investigation on the stability of the existing structure there and so we feel fairly confident that the reservoir can sustain this type of limited flow," said Edwin Matsuda, a DLNR dam safety engineer.

According to the DLNR, the owner of the Waita Reservoir reported that the water came close to going over the spillway.

"I believe the people are concerned with the structures because of the fatalities that we've had here and it was a lot of rain that we had, not only the reservoirs got it, but the streams as well. There was a significant amount of flooding throughout Kauai from what we've been hearing and seeing on the news as well, so I'm sure people are very concerned and it's a very serious threat," said Matsuda.

The flooding, which lasted for days, could also cause Hawaii's poi prices to go up. Hanalei Valley is the heart of the state's taro industry. With crops underwater for three days, leaves will die off and the growth of plants will be stunted. Farmers will likely take a huge financial hit, and with newly planted taro ruined, there could be a shortage next year.

Hanalei Elementary School is getting ready to re-open after suffering storm damage. The principal spent the day removing debris on campus. Some of the classrooms sustained water damage and there is ponding on the school grounds, but students will be able to return on Thursday.

"We do have some of our faculty, staff and families as well affected by the flooding in their homes so we're taking that into consideration as well," said principal Corey Nakamura.

Big Save Market did its best to keep up with the demand for groceries from visitors and residents.

"The tourists didn't seem to quite understand why were only open for a little bit of the time, but all the locals were very appreciative. They were just glad somebody was here to open the store cause apparently everyone forgot to get groceries," said the store's grocery manager.

Nearby at Bubba Burgers, customers lined up to order hot meals. Everyone is still buzzing about the wild weather.

"Outside my house, a tree was uprooted by lightning. My friend was driving and saw lightning bolt crack on it and it uprooted itself," said Kapaa High School student Abirae Stine.

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