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40 stranded at Kauai Red Cross shelter

Updated 11:00pm

The National Weather Service has extended the flash flood warning for the island of Kauai to 1:45 Monday morning.

Weather forecasters say although stream levels are trending downward and conditions improve, radar images show light to occasionally moderate rain continues to fall primarily over windward and interior sections of the island. They say the rainfall rate is less than a half an inch per hour.

Meanwhile, county officials report that they and state Department of Transportation crews have opened more roadways. They include the south-bound lane of Kuhio Highway on the Wailua Bridge and both lanes of the Kaumualii Highway near the 7-Eleven store in Lawai and near Maluhia Road.

Water has been delivered to about 40 people who were stranded today without food or water at a Red Cross shelter on Kauai.

Coralie Chun Matayoshi, chief executive officer of the Red Cross in Hawaii, said the people showed up at the Hanalei Elementary School shelter at about 8 p.m. Saturday because of flooding on the North Shore.

Officials planned to pick them up by helicopter today and take them to another shelter near the Princeville Airport, but the helicopters were grounded for most of the day by the bad weather.

The shelter occupants’ last meal was pizza at 10:30 a.m. and they ran out of water at about 2:30 p.m., Matayoshi said.

“We’ve never had this before,” Matayoshi said by phone.

At about 4:30 p.m., it was raining again and the school was completely surrounded by rising water.

Matayoshi said the county’s Department of Parks and Recreation offered to deliver food to the evacuees by personal watercraft, but a nearby business that was to provide the supplies was inundated with flooding. The Hawaii Guard offered to deliver food by air, but couldn’t fly because of the weather.

She said most of the occupants were reportedly tourists from Hanalei.

She said the occupants were not able to drive to the shelter near Princeville earlier in the day because there were numerous landslides on the roadway.

“We don’t have that much time,” Matayoshi said. “We’re trying to get food over there.”

At about 5:50 p.m., Sarah Blane, Kauai County spokeswoman, said water has been delivered to the shelter with the help of Big Save Hanalei and the Red Cross, and food was on the way. She said the rain was subsiding in the area and the storm was moving to the south of the island.

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