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Wainiha digs out

  • Bethany Freudenthal/The Garden Island

    Since Monday, a group of community volunteers has been working to clear the landslides that have blocked the community’s only road.

  • Bethany Freudenthal/The Garden Island

    Since Monday, a group of community volunteers has been working to clear the landslides that have blocked the community’s only road.

  • Bethany Freudenthal/The Garden Island

    Kauai Island Utility Cooperative workers, working hard to restore some of the community’s power.

  • Bethany Freudenthal/The Garden Island

    Jesse Johnson of Hanalei, rode his jet ski all the way to his friend’s house in Ha’ena, to gather things for the family, who had been stranded because of the storm.

  • Bethany Freudenthal/The Garden Island

    Pictured: Mark DeSilva, Matthew DeSilva, unknown Three men head out towards Wainiha Tuesday on the first Zodiac heading to Wainiha, with supplies.

  • Bethany Freudenthal/The Garden Island

    Throughout the day, both military and non-military helicopters made numerous trips up north, to help evacuate those in need.

  • Bethany Freudenthal/The Garden Island

    By mid-morning Tuesday, about 100 Wainiha residents had stopped by a temporary food bank, set up at the Wainiha General Store. In addition to walking or driving to the store, volunteers had already delivered three truckloads of the much needed items to those in the valley, who couldn’t get out because they were elderly, or didn’t have vehicles.

  • Bethany Freudenthal/The Garden Island

    Kauai residents gather at Anini Beach Tuesday to help load donated supplies, for those stranded on the North Shore.

  • Bethany Freudenthal/The Garden Island

    Throughout the day Tuesday, boat, after boat, after boat delivered people and donated house hold and food items to Wainiha, which is completely blocked in, due to landslides caused by the weekend’s storm.

WAINIHA — The devastation is all around in hard-hit Wainiha, but so is hope.

On a riverbank just before the one lane bridge to Haena, a long line of boats waited their turn to drop off their loads Tuesday. On the bank of the river, a group of residents gathered with trucks, cars and all terrain vehicles, to help unload and transport items to those in need.

At the Wainiha General Store, a temporary food bank was set up in the parking lot and residents came and went throughout the morning.

“You talk about the end days and helping each other, this is the reality,” said Wainiha resident Mahina Laughlin.

The response she has seen from the community brings tears to her eyes.

Following the weekend storms of flooding and landslides caused by relentless rains, property destruction was overwhelming. Homes destroyed. Roads washed out. Vehicles overturned. People stranded.

Yet, they were not alone.

“To see how much people love each other, of what we’re experiencing, when everyone comes together and shares everything they have,” Laughlin said.

By mid-morning, those manning the food bank had already seen 100 people and taken three truck loads of deliveries up the valley to those who are stuck and don’t have cars.

At Anini Beach Tuesday morning, people gathered to load donations onto boats headed to Wainiha and Haena.

Jodie Thayer, who lives a couple houses down from the home that was lost on Powerhouse Road, said her family’s house is OK. She’d recently just gotten home, but had been stuck in Hanalei for four days, away from her husband, two sons and a wild cat the family has been trying to tame.

“The community is helping each other out,” she said. “The community is the best.”

For about a year, Naomi Hild has lived in Hanalei, but she’s lived on Kauai for almost eight years. When the storm hit, she said she didn’t think much of it because it’s just another day on Kauai.

“When you live here, you have to realize that Mother Nature is going to take its course,” Hild said.

Hild said she didn’t start getting scared until the water began coming in through her baseboards.

“So I went upstairs to my landlord’s house and waited it out there,” she said.

The damage to her home is minimal compared to others who lost everything, she said.

“My heart is filled with gratitude that I came out of this in a good place,” she said. “It could have been so much worse than it was.”

Since Monday, Hild has been spending her days transporting food to those in need.

“I feel like that’s what it should be,” she said. “Make sure you’re OK in your place, but help out where you can.”

Natural healing herbalist Gabriel Monaghan, who was helping unload donations from boats, said his family fared pretty well throughout the storm.

His home wasn’t adversely affected by the flooding, but it was scary.

“I stayed up all night watching the river, because it’s 10 feet from our house,” he said.

A lot of Wainiha residents, he said, were traumatized from the rushing water, “and I was too.”

Since his house wasn’t damaged during the flood, Monaghan said he has been spending time fixing his neighbor’s damaged water and propane pipes with PVC glue.

Of the storm, he said he can say that he has never been experienced by those who live in Wainiha.

“Just speaking to the old timers, none of them have seen anything like this,” Monaghan.

In 24 hours, he measured 30 inches of rain at his house.

“The majority of that was in the last three hours of the storm,” he said.

Aside from helping each other clean up their homes after the storm, a group of about 20 men from the community have been clearing the landslides that have blocked them in.

Rick Hamyoung, who has lived in Wainiha, “forever,” said they started clearing trees that were stuck in the power line and hanging on Monday.

The North Shore damage is so severe Gov. David Ige declared a state of emergency for Kauai.

“Hopefully we can get out of here in a month at least,” he said. “We’re all volunteers. We have guys here that know how to work, not just talk story.”

Everyone, he said, including the young boys, have been working hard to clear the road.

As far as needs for the community, Hamyoung said they are desperately in need of beer.

“More beer than water. More Spam, more eggs,” he said. “Most of us are married, so we don’t need girls.”

One thing Wainiha residents are running low on is propane for cooking and gas for their vehicles.

As far as what’s next for the community, Laughlin said they are all anxious to get to Hanalei.

“We all have small business and families in Hanalei,” she said.

3 Comments
  1. harryoyama2 April 18, 2018 4:33 am Reply

    Yes, “we don’t need girls”, LOL. Just look at that show, Naked and Alone, most of the time the paired couple, its the guy who does all the work while the female sleeps and complaints allot.


    1. Sam April 18, 2018 7:40 am Reply

      ^^^*TF? Git off yer own naked bum and pitch in, hey? These folks need help out there. Not lip.


      1. No_They_Didn't April 18, 2018 12:10 pm Reply

        He meant locals like p. Carvalho Jr. High School athlete in charge of the island. It is federal funds, so no worry. Red Cross, national guard, equipment, etc. I prefer to call him a name if they paid the mayor. Lose.


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