Kauai left to clean up mess from severe overnight flooding; shelter opens

Flooding at the Kauai Beach Resort Saturday morning.
Flooding at the Kauai Beach Resort Saturday morning.(Hawaii News Now)
Published: Mar. 28, 2020 at 4:41 PM HST
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KAUAI, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Roughly 20 Kauai residents took shelter at Kapaa Middle School after a night of torrential rain.

Kauai was under a flash flood warning since the early hours Saturday.

Residents woke to severe flooding around the island. Debris clogged the mouth of the Wailua river on Kauai’s east side as crews briefly shut down Kuhio Highway in the area. It has since reopened, but other routes remain closed.

Those that remain shut down include the Hanalei Bridge and the southern end of the Kapaa Bypass Road.

The residents in the American Red Cross shelter were evacuated by first responders from their Wailua homes after flooding posed a threat to their property and safety.

Other photos sent to Hawaii News Now showed water up to the windows of cars parked at the Kauai Beach Resort just down the road from the bridge.

“There have been flooded roads, flooded homes and flooded businesses around the island, mostly on the north and east side,” Kauai Mayor Derek Kawakami said in a video update.

“Please stay safe, this flooding event is continuing. It will be difficult to maintain social distance during the flooding response, but please do everything you can to remain aware of the COVID-19 emergency and don’t help the virus spread between our residents,” he added.

A flash flood watch remains in place for Kauai and Oahu as the threat for more unstable weather lingers. The previous flood warning for Kauai has expired.

Forecasters said a upper level low approaching from the northwest brought the instability, and the threat for more rain and thunderstorms will linger into the night Saturday. And with grounds already heavily saturated, it won’t take much for flooding to occur again.

Portions of Oahu, primarily windward and northern sides, were also under a flash flood warning overnight, but it was canceled shortly before 6 a.m. after the heavy rain subsided.

Data from the National Weather Service show many places on Kauai got upwards of seven to eight inches of rain overnight. Here were the latest 24-hour rainfall totals in inches as of noon Saturday.


  • Hanalei, 8.46
  • North Wailua Ditch, 7.87
  • Mount Waialeale, 7.15
  • Wailua, 7.33
  • Princeville Airport, 6.75
  • Kapahi, 7.20
  • Lihue Airport, 5.87
  • Anahola, 3.91


  • Poamoho RG 1, 8.42
  • Kamananui Stream, 5.79
  • Tunnel RG, 5.27
  • Nuuanu Upper, 4.10
  • Oahu Forest NWR, 5.10
  • Pupukea Road, 2.58
  • Moanalua 5.79

A flash flood watch means that conditions are favorable to produce life-threatening flash flooding. Be on the alert and be prepared to take action if a flash flood warning is issued. If you experience heavy rain or rising water, head to higher ground immediately.

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