KILAUEA – It’s been nearly a month, since historic rainfall caused catastrophic flooding on Kauai, destroying homes and cars, killing livestock and initially leaving three North Shore communities isolated.
Though the road to Hanalei was cleared quickly, multiple landslides blocked road access to Wainiha and Haena, until this weekend, when a limited access road was opened for community members and workers.
Since the flooding, Kauai residents and relief organizations such as Malama Kauai, The Red Cross, The Salvation Army, as well as off-island non-profit organizations and individuals, have stepped up to assist those in need.
In Kilauea, Malama Kauai’s distribution center at Common Grounds, is a busy place, with truckloads of supplies heading out daily to all impacted areas on Kauai. Help is ongoing for those in need, said Donovan Cabebe, Americorp project manager with Malama Kauai.
“We’re asking folks who have a need, to contact their area liaison. Services are available to anyone who might need them in those affected areas,” he said.
For those on the North Shore who are returning home for the first time since evacuating, Cabebe said some of the items they should bring with them are cleaning supplies, trash bags, boots and gloves.
“We have a good supply of boots at the Hanalei Courthouse, or the Malama Kauai warehouse,” Cabebe said.
Breakfasts are still being served at Opakapaka Grill and Bar for workers, first responders and houseless residents only, while dinner is being served at the YMCA camp.
Though they’re not certain how long food service is expected to continue, Cabebe said they are anticipating it to stay open for at least another month, but it could be longer.
“We’re anticipating it will stay open as long as the road has limited access,” he said.
Boats are still going back and forth, weather and surf permitted, but now that the road is open, their focus has shifted to trucking in the much-needed items.
Some of the items needed for the North Shore include sleeping tents, 10’ x 10’ pop-up tents, socks, laundry detergent, mold primer, paint brush roller sets and picks for garden or rock removal.
In the Anahola, Kealia and Keapana area, volunteer work crews are needed to help move, clean and setup several homes and one farm, where residents lost everything.
Some of the most needed items on the Eastside include gift cards that can be used towards appliances, roofing materials, shingles, weed wackers and other equipment to help with the recovery effort.
In Koloa, they’re mainly focused on rebuilding and refurbishing affected homes. Needed items include gift cards that can be used towards appliances.
Supply donations can be dropped off at the Malama Kauai Distribution Center at Common Grounds on Kuawa Road in Kilauea daily, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Residents may drop off non-perishable food items to the Hawaii Foodbank-Kauai Branch in Lihue.
During a 48-hour period ending April 15, Kauai received just over 80 inches of rain. Wainiha received 32.35 inches of rain, while Hanalei tapped out at 28.41 inches of rain and up on Mt. Waialeale, precipitation measured in at 22.34 inches, according to a news release by the Office of the Governor.
More than 475 people were evacuated by helicopter during the recovery effort, with an undetermined amount of people evacuated by boat.
More than 350 homes were damaged, and an unknown number of businesses were impacted by the rains.
United States Army helicopter crews delivered about 43,000 pounds of food, water and clothing to distressed areas, just following the flood.
Bethany Freudenthal, Courts, Crime and County reporter, 652-7891 or email@example.com