It felt like Hurricane Lane skipped Kauai at first. As it turned out, we aren’t out of the woods yet.
One hint that the storm wasn’t done was Monday morning when I heard cars moving on Ananalu Road about five in the morning. They were moving their cars because they were anticipating flooding in their yards due to the heavy rain and the river nearby.
Later in the afternoon the water did rise into their yards, which is horrible especially considering that it happened after the April flood, too. Many people have been forced to deal with a second round of bad flooding during this storm.
Another hint was the slick muddy road, some parts of the road had a foot-thick layer of mud on it. Fortunately, my Subaru had all-wheel drive and was able to make it through. My husband picked up my daughter from Hanalei School which closed around lunch time Monday, due to the weather.
My daughter and husband waited in the convoy line with other residents to get through to Haena and Wainiha. It took a while we heard because debris fell on the roadway. They decided to let some people through before closing the convoy until conditions improved. Meanwhile people were U-turning and leaving because they didn’t want to get stuck in water flooding into the road, and because Hanalei River was rising.
The bridge closed soon after.
While going for a jog Sunday, I took in the scene around the neighborhood. There were a lot of big puddles on the road and I could see people loading up their cars to leave, hoping to dodge the storm.
People around town were hanging out in front of Last Chance or Wainiha General Store, a hot spot for people to talk story and find out what’s going on.
It’s a place where people can go to see their neighbors and make sure they’re doing OK, too. Also, people were gathering there because they couldn’t get past the double bridges, since the river was overflowing onto the road.
Social media helps to shed light onto the struggles people are facing because of the storm, though it’s not easy to take in. Photographs and videos of people’s yards and homes filled with water can be seen online.
Some images, for example, show stilt houses that though about a story above flood water, the car parking and storage area beneath it are underwater. This is just a glimpse into what people are dealing with, as there are so many different and difficult situations people are facing now.
All in all, neighbors helping neighbors, people helping people, are keeping Kauai going right now.
KPD Sgt. Rod Green, at last week’s emergency meeting in Haena, called Haena and Wainiha people very “resilient.”
It’s a great word to describe all people on Kauai, and if everyone got through the flooding in April, we can this time, too. Now all we can do is continue to be there for each other, as we ride out the rest of the storm and the hurricane season together.
Monique Rowan covers the North Shore for The Garden Island and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org