lunes, 16 de abril de 2018

Coast Guard responds to flooding in vicinity of Hanalei Bay, Kauai

HONOLULU — The Coast Guard assisted local authorities to rescue hikers in the vicinity of Hanalei Bay, Sunday after the area sustained flooding and landslides due to heavy thunderstorms.

MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrews from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point rescued and assisted several hikers.

At approximately 4 a.m., watchstanders at the Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center Honolulu received a request from the Hawaii Emergency Management operations chief and the Hawaii Fire Department battalion for air support.

The north shore of Kauai experienced flash flooding with waters rising between five and eight feet above average due to the severe thunderstorms and heavy rains, trapping many residents inside their homes and on rooftops. 

Crews from the Hawaii Fire Department and Ocean Safety and Lifeguard Services have been evacuating residents to higher ground via Jet Skis but were unable to effect rescues in the towns of Hanalei, Wainiha, and Haina. 

At 8:21 a.m., while responding to a possible emergency position indicating radio beacon alert, a Coast Guard Dolphin aircrew conducted a rescue of two stranded hikers on Hanakapia’i Beach. 

The hikers waved down the helicopter after being stranded for two days due to the inclement weather. They were safely hoisted and transported in good condition to Princeville Airport. 

At 11:30 a.m., while conducting aerial observations for the emergency operations center in Kauai, a second Dolphin aircrew overheard a radio transmission on VHF Channel 16 from approximately 30 stranded hikers on Kalalau Beach. The aircrew located the hikers took their specific position and passed it to watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Honolulu. SCC Honolulu is currently in communications with the hikers and monitoring the situation. The hikers currently have food and supplies and are not in need of an immediate rescue. 

The governor has issued an emergency proclamation declaring a disaster on Kauai. 

In the event of a flash flood, residents are strongly encouraged to seek higher ground immediately for safety.