Mobilize county, community to help affected families on Menehune Road

WAIMEA – After a landslide Tuesday that isolated several families in Waimea behind Menehune Road, the county and community have mobilized to help.

“As Menehune Road remains closed, it is important for us to emphasize that the area is still very dangerous and stones continue to fall,” Mayor Derek Kawakami said in a statement. “For everyone’s safety, please do not go near the area until the work is complete and it is considered safe. We would like to thank all of our partners for their hard work to open up this road and especially our residents for their patience and solidarity during this difficult time. We’d also like to give a special Mahalo to the Hawai’i Food Bank Kaua’i Chapter and Waimea High School for helping with food distribution today, along with other community partners supporting our emergency relief.

Officials announce the following updates:

Road closure and slope stabilization

The county’s contractors began work on Friday to contain rockfall, which included airlifting drilling rigs and materials to the slope above the pavement.

The first removal of boulders and boulders will begin on Saturday. Part of the mitigation work will include forcing large boulders off the slope and onto the road.

In addition, the contractors will begin work to protect the road, waterline and historic bridge from mitigation.

The work continues daily from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Officials believe it will take about 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 alternative emergency access route via UTV from Waimea Canyon Drive, which is on the land of the State Forest Reserve.

This access will serve as an emergency route for officials to deliver food and other urgent supplies to residents. It won’t be open to the public until officials determine the route is safe for larger vehicles. The district is in contact with DLNR and will provide updates on public access plans.

Utilities

As of 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Spectrum restored service to residents of Menehune Road, and Hawaiian Telcom restored service to customers on Friday.

Wellness checks

Officials conducted another wellness check on Friday and delivered food packages to residents.

While the road remains completely closed, the crews will continue with health checks and needs assessments in this area and will post updated information online daily at kauai.gov/KEMA.

Refuse service

In anticipation of the establishment of an emergency access route, solid waste officials plan to carry out a garbage collection on Monday.

The garbage collection is limited to household waste.

Residents are asked to put rubbish in the district’s garbage trucks. Bulky items, green waste and loose waste are currently not picked up.

More info

If anyone in the affected area needs assistance during work hours, please call the Kaua’i Emergency Management Agency (KEMA) at 808-241-1800. After hours, please call the Kaua’i Police Department at 808-241-1711.

If you have an emergency and need immediate help, please call 911.

Those who wish to provide services or resources are asked to coordinate with KEMA.

About Rachael Garcia

Check Also

This week in the garden: Planning for backyard bird watching

Sometime last year I received a message from a member of the Two Thirds for …