1 Dead, Several Missing After Kauai Dam Bursts
Kauai Mayor Bryan Baptiste declared a state of emergency after devastating heavy rains caused a breach at a reservoir on the north shore, sweeping away possibly as many as seven people, and another dam is threatening to be compromised.
Witnesses say waves of water 18-feet high rushed toward homes on Wailapa Road, taking two houses completely off their foundations.
Ka Loko Reservoir in Kilauea breeched and overflowed onto Kuhio Highway wiping out about 100 feet of the road. Vehicles were unable to pass in either direction.
Teams from multiple agencies are working to find as many as seven other people reported missing after the dam was overrun. The Coast Guard has found the body of one person so far.
The Ka Loko Dam burst leaving a 250-foot hole in it after heavy rains pounded the area overnight, causing flooding on an already saturated island, and closing roads on the Garden Isle's north shore.
The Kauai Fire Department called on the
U.S. Coast Guard to help with the search for seven people who may have been swept away when water plunged over the dam. Officials dispatched a C-130 search plane and a helicopter to look for the missing people in the Kilauea Stream, which feeds into Kilauea Bay.
The Coast Guard Cutter Washington has left Honolulu to join the efforts.
Officials opened Kilauea Neighborhood Center and Kula School as shelters for those who need to evacuate on the North Shore.
Morita Reservoir near Kilauea is also in danger of breaching. Officials have evacuated residents on Kapuu Road to Kalaheo Neighborhood Center. They earlier urged residents living near Waikomo Stream and low-lying areas to evacuate to the center as well, they have since called that off.
Another reservoir, the Morita Reservoir, is in danger of breaching. The Civil Defense warned anyone who lives near there to evacuate.
State transportation director Rod Haraga said teams are first working to shore up Morita Reservoir before working on Kuhio Highway.
County officials also want residents to conserve water after a water main along Wailapa Road broke.
Officials closed Kuhio Highway between Hanalei and Princeville early Tuesday morning. Crews also closed the highway at Wailapa Road, east of Kilauea. Kauai County Civil Defense says the nearby Waiakalua Reservoir overflowed mauka of the highway.
The threat of heavy rainfall may remain with the state for the rest of the week. Tuesday's rainfall will be mainly for Kauai and Oahu, but some of those showers may continue eastward to Molokai, Lanai and Maui. Southeast portions of the Big Island in the Hilo, Puna and Kau districts, also may see heavier showers. Rainfall is expected to ease off a little on Friday and into Saturday, but scattered showers are still in the forecast.