Swollen streams strand 62 hikers, some for days

AP News
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Posted: Dec 25, 2014 5:00 PM

KAPAA, Hawaii (AP) — Firefighters in Hawaii rescued more than 60 hikers, including some who were stranded for days, when heavy rain made streams too swollen to cross on the island of Kauai.

The Kauai Fire Department was notified Wednesday that some hikers were stranded in a valley for several days with dwindling supplies. A total of 62 people were airlifted by the end of the day, the county said.

One male hiker suffered a non-life-threatening injury, officials said. He was flown to Princeville Airport, where awaiting medics took him to Wilcox Hospital.

The rescue came after about 10 people were stranded Monday on the Kalalau Trail but could cross the Hanakapiai Stream without help when the water receded the next day.

The state Department of Natural Resources posted closure signs at the trailhead Monday, and a worker warned hikers of the hazardous weather conditions. But some hikers ignored the warning and continued on, according to the state.

"It was windy and rainy, but we were in a decently tarped area and had firewood," camper Sean Rollnick of Alaska told the Garden Island newspaper after he was airlifted to a parking area near a beach. "We did a pretty good job staying dry but could have prepped a little better."

More than 120 hikers, including several children, had to be rescued in the valley in April after being stranded by the rising stream.