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Newswatch

For Sunday, June 5, 2011


POSTED:



Rain causes flooding, power outages

Reports of flooding of homes and people stranded on the top of a car led the Honolulu Fire Department to respond to the Waikane Valley-Ahuimanu area Saturday evening.

Hawaiian Electric Co. said power was out in parts of Punaluu and Pearl City.

The Department of Emergency Management cautioned Oahu motorists to avoid travel through windward Oahu due to "very hazardous" conditions.

Kamehameha Highway was closed in both directions in the area of Waikane Valley due to heavy rain and flooding, and police scanner transmissions report that at least one stranded motorist was sitting on the roof of his vehicle. Traffic was being turned around at Waiahole and Waikane roads.

As of 8:20 p.m., the heaviest rain was concentrated in the Kaaawa to Hauula areas, with unconfirmed reports of flooding near Pokiwai Steam.

Kamehameha Highway was also closed from Kahaluu to Punaluu as a result of ongoing flooding.

The National Weather Service earlier issued a flash flood watch for all islands due to unstable weather conditions that were resulting in thunderstorms. A flash flood warning was in effect for Oahu until 11:45 p.m. Saturday but could be extended.

Forecasters say heavy rain was falling between Waiahole and Laie, and gauges at Waihee and Kahana streams were at record levels.

Meanwhile, the National Weather Service estimates there were 2,334 lightning strikes in Hawaii between 2 and 6 a.m. Saturday and 12,497 strikes Friday statewide between midnight and 8 a.m. Most of Saturday's lightning strikes were over water, but some struck in windward Oahu, said Tom Birchard, a forecaster with the National Weather Service.

$600,000 will help homeless veterans

Two Hawaii community service organizations that aid homeless veterans have been awarded nearly $600,000 in federal grants.

The U.S. Department of Labor said Thursday that Network Enterprises is to receive $293,000 and Mental Health Association in Hawaii is to get $300,000.

The grants are part of $28 million awarded nationwide to help provide job training to 17,000 veterans who are homeless or at risk of being homeless.

The 122 grants are being awarded under the U.S. Department of Labor's Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program.

Sen. Daniel Inouye says in a statement that many don't realize a disproportionate number of Hawaii's homeless are veterans.

School sites offer free meals to kids

Free meals for children are being provided this summer at 60 public schools statewide.

The meals are offered Monday through Friday, except on June 10, 17 and 24, and July 4.

School sites offer breakfast, lunch or both through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Seamless Summer program, aimed at making sure low-income kids don't go hungry when school is out.

The Department of Education said the meals are available to all children 18 and under, regardless of whether they attend a public school.

For a complete list of meal sites, visit hawaiidoe.org.


Family of 5 escapes fire

A house in Lihue was significantly damaged in a fire Saturday afternoon that apparently started in the garage and spread to the house, Kauai County said. Neighbors alerted the family living at 3211 Alohi Place that the garage was ablaze, and the two adults and three children safely got out of the home.

Dispatch was called by neighbors at 2:56 p.m. and Engine 3 from Lihue station was on the scene by 2:59 pm., the county said. Engines from the Kapaa and Kalaheo stations also responded.

The fire was declared under control by 3:12 pm and was extinguished by 4 p.m.

The family occupying the house is being assisted by the American Red Cross. A damage estimate was unavailable.

Sidewalk removed

Kauai County officials announced that the crosswalk on Rice Street next to Haleko Road and the Isenberg Memorial has been removed for safety reasons.

A resolution authorizing the removal was approved May 18 by the County Council.

Pedestrians in the area may cross Rice Street using the crosswalk fronting Tiano’s Island Cuisine and the Lihue Civic Center.

New degree program set

The University of Hawaii’s Maui College will offer a new bachelor’s degree in sustainable science management.

The university said the program will have a special focus on renewable energy, energy efficiency and conservation.

It will be an interdisciplinary program that aims to train a work force for the emerging green industry in Maui County and elsewhere.







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