Cosme Dumps Rain

BIG ISLAND (KHNL) - For our drought stricken state, showers are welcome news to those whose basic necessities rely on the rain. The first tropical system of the hurricane season to reach Hawaii delivers heavy downpours to Hawaii island, but passes without any major problems.

Tropical depression Cosme moved past the big island early Saturday morning. The storm left the island with no serious damage, just some very thankful residents.

At its peak, Cosme drenched the Big Island with pounding rain on Friday. The tropical depression triggered a flash flood watch, and left one of the streams along the Hamakua Coast in North Hilo swollen.

Cosme kept Civil Defense crews up all night. But the tropical depression brushed by without causing serious damage. Instead, the Big Island woke up Saturday to a silver lining.

"This rainfall was pretty lucky for us that it came in the speed and the amount we got that it didn't cause worse damage, but it did give us rain in a lot of areas that were kind of dry so that helped us out," says Troy Kindred, Big Island Civil Defense Administrator.

The rain especially helped those relying on catchment tanks for water. At Paradise Park, severe drought has forced residents to fork out about $400 to fill their 10,000 gallon water tanks. For them, the storm means financial relief.

"Apparently, everybody is full right now, so they all happy. It helped myself and everybody else, also takes care of your lawn, you don't have to water your grass and lands and stuff like that. It was a blessing," says Paradise Park resident Wesley Nakahara.

"I was not making light of the fact a lot of people out there that was praying for rain because they were praying for rain," says Big Island Mayor Harry Kim.

And they got it. What started out as a hurricane threat diminished into lighter than normal heavy rain by the time Cosme reached the Big Island.

"I don't want to minimize the potential of this problem, or threat, but it was there. But what did happen on nature's blessing, we just got some much needed rains," says Kim.

Instead of bringing danger, Mother Nature ended up bringing some relief to the Big Island's parched land.

While Cosme brought some relief, Mayor Kim warns it's only temporary. With severe drought still looming, threats of wildfires remain. Kim says it only takes a day of sun and the right winds to spark a brush fire.