Deluge swamps North Shore

  • Photo by Terry Lilly

    Taro fields are flooding on the North Shore Tuesday.

Hanalei resident Megan Wong said Weke Road was flooding Tuesday and a house was tipping because of the water.

“It was cracking while I was standing there. We thought it was falling. The water’s like river rapids flowing under it and through it,” she said.

Water was flowing under Postcard’s Restaurant all the way to the Dolphin Restaurant, Wong said.

“It’s just a solid river,” she said.

In the last 24 hours, Wong said the Wainiha River flash-flooded three times. It was impassable Monday and was impassable Tuesday, she said.

A landslide was reported in Wainiha just past Powerhouse Road on Kuhio Highway.

“It’s just craziness,” she said. “There’s so much water, it’s not stopping. It’s still down pouring right now, I just don’t know when it’s going to let up.”

Kauai may not have been hit directly by Hurricane Lane, but it’s still having an impact.

“The same kind of pattern that broke up Lane is causing some additional instability,” said Vanessa Almanza a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

That instability along with daytime heating is helping with the thunderstorms, she said.

“We’re expecting things to start drying out across the state by Wednesday so later on tonight and Wednesday,” she said.

In Hanalei, Joel Guy who heads up the Hanalei Haena Community Association, said they have had a continuous downpour since Monday morning and they are seeing breaches from the historic April flood show themselves again.

“What you’re really seeing is a lot of the community jumping in and helping each other again making sure everyone is safe and where they need to be,” he said.

It’s both a community and county effort and with the April flood still fresh on everyone’s mind, it was easy for everyone to drop right back into action, he said.

“It’s been amazing to see everyone pull together. All of our communication lines have been re-invigorated. The group texting the last two days have been pretty overwhelming,” Guy said.

Wainiha resident Mahina Laughlin, who was stuck in Princeville Tuesday, said as a result of April’s flood, the community is prepared and knows what to expect, but just knowing how much water is back in their town is scary.

“What happened was the Samaritans gave us those tent houses so there was like six houses at Haena beach park and they were all taken down because of the hurricane and now we have the homeless again,” she said.

One resident’s tent home washed away in Monday’s deluge onto the road and blocked traffic, she said.

“Then all between the bridges because of the high tides a lot of houses got washed out again after just getting it dried out,” she said.

People who live in back will need all-terrain vehicles for access and will need meals donated, she said.

But it’s not all bad news.

Some of the sand bars in front of her house were dug out so that was able to release some of the pressure and this storm happened during the daytime, so residents were able to organize and save some of their belongings.

“We’re OK. It’s just one of those random things where people are back in the mud,” Laughlin said.

In Hanalei, Mike Ching said even though every store at Ching Young Village was closed Tuesday, he was standing outside of his shopping complex making sure the gutters stay clear so rain can drain off the roof properly.

“This is difficult for our tenants. They don’t have any sales for another day or yesterday they had to get out of here early afternoon yesterday they were afraid it’s going to flood,” he said.

Ching said they’re not in danger of water coming in like April, but there’s some ponding in the parking area.

Still, it wasn’t a good situation.

“This is terrible, terrible. We need some sunshine out here,” he said. “It’s depressing having all of this rain.”

The water level is pretty high, but Charlie Cowden, who owns Hanalei Surf Company, said it’s been that high several times since he has owned his business for over 30 years.

“I don’t think it’s high enough to get into anyone’s business, but you never know,” he said.

The Weather Service is keeping a close eye on Tropical Storm Miriam. It is projected to track North East and isn’t too much of a threat for Hawaii and the Weather Service is keeping their eye on a tropical depression off the southern tip of Mexico.

  1. oldtimer August 29, 2018 11:26 am Reply

    Looking at this video it appears along the river to be a bunch of chainsawn and left long Albezias, left paralleling the river. What kind of fool does this? Hopefully there is no bridge down river from this. Must be someone new to the island who is clueless.

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