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Over 125 airlifted in evacuations on Kauai

5:40 p.m. Update

More than 125 people had been evacuated in airlifts Tuesday from the Hā‘ena and Wainiha area on Kauai’s North Shore by the Army, National Guard and Kauai County.

Weather permitting, airlifts will resume from the Camp Naue landing zone between approximately 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Wednesday, the county said in a press release.

“Those who wish to be evacuated are advised that it is unknown at this time when they can return home, as landslides continue to block access along Kūhiō Highway between Waikoko and Wainiha,” the press release said.

Camp Naue will also be the distribution point for food, water and other provisions to those who choose not to be evacuated. Hanalei Colony Resort is also offering food and other supplies to those in need, the county said.

According to the press release, donations are currently being accepted at the following locations:

· Kaua‘i Food Bank (8 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

· Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank (8 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

· Kīlauea Neighborhood Center (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

· Kōloa Neighborhood Center (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

Accepted items are limited to:

· Non-perishables;

· Bottled water;

· Cleaning supplies

· Hygiene items;

· Diapers;

· Baby food and formula.

The Kīlauea Neighborhood Center is currently open as a Red Cross shelter. A Red Cross shelter will be opened as needed, pending weather conditions.

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An estimated 25 hikers, stranded since the storm hit last weekend, elected to be airlifted out of the Kalalau area of the Napali Coast State Wilderness Park by helicopter Monday, according the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.

The record-breaking storm had cut off road access from the trailhead back to Hanalei and other Kauai locales. The road to the Kalalau trailhead remains closed indefinitely.

At least two people decided to stay behind, according to the helicopter pilot. DLNR said it remains unknown whether others decided to shelter in place at the designated camping area at Hanakoa or at Hanakapiai‘ai (at the two-mile point), which is allowed without a state permit.

DLNR said initial reports indicate no significant damage to the 11-mile-long Kalalau Trail, but a State Parks maintenance team will have to confirm it by a visit sometime in the next week.

Last weekend, the state issued 42 permits for designated camping at Kalalau. Using a new notification system, parks staff were able to send e-mails to all permit holders inquiring about their status and received 63 responses as of this morning, confirming that groups or individuals are safe.

Last week, the State Parks department also announced it would offer 20 additional Kalalau camping permits for the summer season between May 15 and Oct. 31, starting yesterday, but that will now be postponed until further notice.

“Throwing a bunch more people into the permitting system just to have them get refunds later on doesn’t make sense,” said assistant State Parks administrator Alan Carpenter in a news release. “We apologize to those who showed up at our office in Lihue expecting to apply for a permit. We will let folks know when we’re ready to reinstitute the added permit system, once we have a better idea as to when people can actually even get on the trail.”

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