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Kauai firefighters rescue 13 hikers at Hanakapiai

Hanalei firefighters on Sunday successfully rescued 13 hikers who had been stranded in Hanakapiai on Kauai.

The Kalalau Trail, meanwhile, reopened Tuesday after the Hanakapiai stream returned to normal levels. It was closed since Thursday due to high stream levels, state Department of Land and Natural Resources officials said. The trail is reported to be surprisingly dry due to the high winds.

On Sunday afternoon, the Kauai Fire Department was notified of 13 hikers who had been stranded in Hanakapiai for about two to three days due to ongoing flooding conditions at the stream. Due to hazardous weather conditions, the department was unable to conduct air or sea evacuations.

At about 1:45 p.m., a team of firefighters hiked to Hanakapiai Stream to deliver food, water, and thermal blankets to the stranded hikers via a rope system.

Upon arrival on scene, they determined there was a safe path for the hikers to cross the stream, and guided all 13 safely from Hanakapiai to Kee Beach by about 7 p.m. Sunday.

No injuries were reported.

“I commend our firefighters for their tremendous effort to care for and keep these individuals safe from harm,” said Chief Robert Westerman in a news release. “We would like to remind all hikers and beachgoers to remain vigilant during these unstable weather conditions and to always seek advice from officials before attempting any outdoor activity.”

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