|Satellite image of tropical storm Iselle moving west of the Big Island after making landfall on the shore near Pahala|
Image from NOAA
Th leading edge of Iselle arrived to Pahala with a dry wind, colorful clouds at sunset and the appearance of Ka`u being spared, while nearby Volcano and Puna took the pounding with early electrical outages, blocked roads, downed trees and damaged homes. With electricity going out in Pahala late last night and communications lost, most residents didn’t realize they were experiencing the eye of the storm at 2:30 a.m. when circular bands of clouds traveled across the night sky. The eye was followed by lightning and thunder and the beginning of heavy rain that flooded Hwy 11 at Kawa and Wood Valley Road making them impassable this morning. A bridge above the Ka`u Coffee Mill on the way to Wood Valley was blocked due to buckled pavement. Further inland, numerous trees fell on power lines, making travel to Wood Valley nearly impossible by vehicle.
|Buckled pavement on a Wood Valley Road bridge, undercut|
by the flooding. Photo by Rob Blosser
Schools, medical clinics, community centers, banks and credit unions and beach parks remain closed today as county and state road crew clean up all the remnants of trees and debris and as Hawaiian Electric Light Co. attempts to restore electricity. Some, if not all Wood Valley residents, cut off from Pahala, reported deafening thunder and lightning. The Wood Valley community is without running water and at least one tree fell on a resident’s car.
|Families shelter at a`u High. Photo by Ron Johnson|
|Wood Valley Rd. blocked by trees. Photo by Royden Okinishi|
On some farms, young coffee trees were uprooted. Guinea grass in pastures was flattened by high winds that also sheared off tops of windbreaks like Norfolk pines.Around the damage - photogenic rushing streams and waterfalls tumbling from the steep walls of Wood Valkey.
Hawai`i county civil defense reported that HELCO crews are working as fast as they can to restore power to Ka'u and ther areas of Hawai`i island. Crews flew in from Honolulu to help.
Hwy 11 reopened Friday evening after flood waters receded at low lying Kawa between Punalu'u and Honu'apo. The detour used for most of the day was the old sugar cane haul road between Na'alehu and Pahala along the mountainside. One Pahala resident, Bobby Tucker, who was returning home, described it as somewhat daunting with gorges,waterfalls and new waterways cut by Iselle, but also incredibly beautiful. To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.
|Julio's predicted path. Photo by weather.com|
To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.
PRIMARY ELECTION DAY IS SATURDAY, with polls open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Local polling places are Cooper Center in Volcano, Ka`u High School cafeteria, Na`alehu School Cafeteria, Ocean View Community Center and Miloli`i Hale.
SUPPORT OUR SPONSORS AT PAHALAPLANTATIONCOTTAGES.COM AND KAUCOFFEEMILL.COM. KA`U COFFEE MILL IS OPEN SEVEN DAYS A WEEK.