MAY 2018

"Adopt the pace of nature:
her secret is patience."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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KRCA Board of Directors
Homeowners Meeting

May 30, 2018
6:30 – 9:30 pm
Kilauea Neighborhood Center

KRCA has contracted with Hawaiiana Management Company who has a Kalihiwai Ridge website access code of:

Agendas and meeting minutes will be posted on this new site along with all our documents that can now be reviewed by the public.

My Impressions

Starting on April 14, 2018 we had a thunder/lightening storm that in the final measurement actually brought Kauai 49” of rain in 24 hours.  It caused major flooding and over 12 landslides on the North shore.  This North part of Kuhio Highway will be opened one way for residents only by estimated May 7, 2018, but several areas will have to be engineered where the road has been washed away.  In Hanalei the pier area was especially hit as the Hanalei River changed back to its original course and washed out or damaged numerous homes in the area and the restrooms at Black Pot.  Those who built their homes above flood zones on ‘stilts' could see water had risen at least 6 feet or more and were glad they were not at ground level.  

The Kalihiwai Valley was evacuated by 3 AM on April 15, 2018 as water from the Kalihiwai River was rushing into their property at rates that flooded and wiped out some homes at the mouth of the river.  Some who were caught in these flood waters had to eventually be treated at Wilcox Hospital for infection from the contaminated water, but thankfully no other injuries or deaths were suffered island wide.  On KahiliHolo the culvert that failed downstream at the curve six years ago and was temporarily repaired with a corrugated metal pipe was blown out, and all but one lane in the middle of the road has now collapsed on either side where water flows downhill to the waterfall seen before crossing the 55 year old Kalihiwai Bridge on Kuhio Highway.  KahiliHolo was closed until further notice at the curve by late that afternoon on the 15th with 24 hour monitoring of the area being done by staff from the County of Kauai Department of Public Works (DPW).

The Kalihiwai Reservoir topped at over 18’6” and Jack Gushiken, the KR Dam Operator, responded expertly using the EAP (Emergency Action Plan) and opened Outlet Works #1 to help drain the reservoir of excess water, brought in soil to the area where the dam was topping, called all agencies to have an evacuation order issued, and saw by 7:30 am on April 16th the water level was down to 13’6” when DLNR engineers inspected the KR to see that the facility had done its job.  No homes had been flooded upstream and the roadways had stayed clear above the KR in Phase 2 of Kalihiwai Ridge and Namahana Farms.  

The KRCA Dam Committee and META engineer Paul R. Weber and Geoff Nobel inspected the KR on April 17th after it was ordered by DLNR engineer Edwin Matsuda the headwalls of Outlet Works #2 needed to be removed (done on April 18th) to allow more water to drain more efficiently from the KR.  The piping issue on the North downstream side of the dam at the toe needs to be monitored weekly by the Dam Operator and plans will be submitted for either a temporary repair of this area of the dam or a permanent fix implemented as seen on the META engineered Kalihiwai Reservoir Remediation Plans that are currently out to bid to three contractors.  

It is planned that the Hawaii Dam and Reservoir Safety Program Dam Safety Permit will be signed by all owners who have interest in the Kalihiwai Reservoir and its valuable water use easement rights, which would include two KRCA board members and the two EHs of record, the three contractor bids will be received by mid May, a contractor will be chosen by the KRCA Board of Directors and water use Easement Holders by June 1, 2018, and plans submitted by our META engineer and contractor to all agencies required for preliminary review by June 2018 with DLNR and the County of Kauai Department of Public Works receiving the plans by October 2018.  

The FEMA and County DPW have inspected the KahiliHolo road failure and have indicated a permanent fix for installing a custom engineered concrete culvert will take from 12-16 months at minimum.  This means the newly graveled bypass road (provided by the County of Kauai) through Wai Koa Plantation and Common Ground will be the only way in and out of Kalihiwai Ridge above the road failure for perhaps as much as two years if the rest of KahiliHolo is resurfaced and striped, as was expected to be completed in 2017, but no money was available for the project at that time.  There has been $100M FEMA funds earmarked for Kauai for this state of emergency so let us hope now all these projects will be able to proceed in a timely manner.  

The underground utilities for Kalihiwai Ridge properties are now exposed at the road failure curve and are sagging without any support.  This includes the water line, electrical power lines, phone lines, and cable.  How these lines are to be secured is of urgent concern to the nearly 600 residents living in the area that are effected by this natural disaster.  A letter from the KRCA Board of Directors to these stake holders in keeping services coming to the homes in the area is being drafted to encourage some kind of temporary solution to secure these lines ASAP rather than allow them to fail and then have another crisis for our already seriously effected neighborhood.  

It looks to be a wet summer on Kauai so drive safe and slow (5-10 MPH) on the gravel bypass road.  Please give right of way to those coming into their homes at Kalihiwai Ridge and make way for the utility and service trucks whenever possible to avoid them having to go off the newly graveled road onto the grass shoulder where you can so easily get stuck in the mud and damage the private property of Wai Koa Plantation and Common Ground.  Let’s use our North shore bridge crossing etiquette to allow us all to take turns in a patient manner, sharing the aloha spirit as our neighbors have done in being so very helpful and gracious to allow us this long term emergency access to our property on their newly improved roadway immediately following this unfortunate natural disaster.  Mahalo nui loa to them from us all.  

Until we meet again.

Maggie Lea

Suggested Readings:
Water Resources and Climate Change Adaptation in Hawai`i: 2012
Reference:  Commission on Water Resource Management
Click here to download PDF file

Koamalu Volumes 1&2
by Ethel M Damon, 1931
A story of pioneers on Kauai and of what they built in that island garden

Sugar Water by Carol Wilcox 1996
Hawaiian & English definitions from the book:
wai - water, blood, passion, life
wai wai - wealth
pani wai - dam
water - transparent, odorless, tasteless, liquid, H2O

Wetland habitat non-invasive plant suggestions:
bacopa, makaloa, carex, aka 'akai, neke
kupukupu, laua'e


Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge

Kauai Forest Birds Recovery Project 

Sounds Hawaiian

National Wildlife Federation

Kalihiwai Reservoir is a
Certified Wildlife Habitat

Ducks Unlimited

Fishing Notes

Hawaii Audubon Society

Sierra Club Hawaii

Sufi at the helm of Moe Moku