Flooding Blocks Roads on Kauai


‪Kauai #hitraffic alert: Flooding conditions at 7:45 am on Kuhio Hwy near Kapaa Bypass after more than 27 inches of rain hit the island in 24 hours.

Around 30 campers were stranded in the Napali Coast State Wilderness Park on Monday, as state parks officials coordinated with county and state emergency workers to prioritise rescue missions.

Coralie Matayoshi, CEO of American Red Cross of Hawaii said plans to airlift them out of the school, which was surrounded by water, were initially abandoned because severe weather grounded helicopters. Volunteers have been trying to get food and water into the shelter through the raging floods.

Officials will continue rescue efforts when the weather improves.

"Honestly, I've never seen such extensive flooding and flash flood runoff kind of damage that we've witnessed and experienced out there", said Elton Ushio, Kauai Emergency Management Agency administrator.

The Red Cross said that by this afternoon, flood waters had receded enough for the remaining group to be taken by bus to another shelter. At least two houses on the north shore completely washed off their foundations, county spokeswoman Sarah Blane said. The houses were vacant, she said. According to Hawaii News Now, "The exact number of rescues is unclear, but so far, no major injuries have been reported". At least two homes were destroyed, with dozens of others damaged from flooding.

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The National Weather Service Honolulu said in a statement that 28.15 inches of rainfall was recorded from Hanalei, Kauai, through Saturday and early Sunday morning when the gauge stopped recording. That's very close to the record of 28.54 inches set in the 24 hours between 4 a.m. March 4 and 5, 2012.

"It was incredible. It looked scared though", she said.

"It's highly likely that the record was broken at the gage in Hanalei", said Chevalier, given that it continued to rain after the gage was lost.

James Hennessy says he maneuvered his flooded street on a standup paddleboard to check on neighbors.

"We really can't go anywhere", he said, adding that he's was grateful to have electricity, even though there was no water or internet service.