Heavy rain soaks Kauai, saturating grounds ahead of more possible wet weather

Heavy rains soak Kauai, leading to saturated grounds ahead of more possible wet weather

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - While Kauai residents are cleaning up following Friday’s storm, they’re also bracing for more rain on the horizon.

Elton Ushio, emergency management administrator of Kauai County said the extent of damages from Friday’s rain is nothing compared to what Kauai experienced in April and August of 2018.

“But there was a lot of rain, almost more than usual,” said Megan Wong of Hanalei. “The bridge water gauge rose to 15 feet.”

“I think if it would have kept raining last night, it would have been a lot worse,” said General Manager of Hanalei Dolphin, Morgan Needham.

Needham says they’re relieved that their restaurant wasn’t under water like it was back in the historic floods of 2018.

However, the possibility of more rain on Kauai is concerning to Wong considering how saturated the area already is.

The National Weather Service reported that between Tuesday morning and Saturday morning, 14.65 inches of rain fell at the Kilohana rain gauge in north Kauai.

During the same time period, Mount Waialeale recorded 12.61 inches of rain, while 11.48 inches fell in Wainiha and 11.27 inches fell at Princeville Airport.

“And so, the hillsides where we’ve had previous landslides in Kalihiwai, and the Wainiha and other areas, I think are very susceptible to coming down again, especially since we’ve had so much rain recently,” said Wong.

Ushio said as of Saturday morning, they have been assessing county facilities for damages while the Department of Transportation has been cleaning up the highways.

“Well, the immediate priority would be to assess any damages from yesterday’s and last night’s event,” said Ushio. “If we need to do quick fixes, or to mitigate hazardous situations, we do need to try to address that prior to any upcoming rain event.”

To better monitor any storm event, Wong believes the county and state should put the camera system back on Hanalei Bridge.

“And you can see the app, and you could actually look at the road and see that it was still flooded,” said Wong. “And know that obviously doesn’t look like it’s opening anytime soon.”

“It was useful even for us to be in risky conditions there without relying on radio or cell phone communication with our first responders in the area,” said Ushio. “So, you know, it’s something we could look into as a priority.”

Ushio said it’s unlikely that Kauai we’ll be getting any direct federal assistance for individuals and businesses because of yesterday’s flooding.

People are encouraged to document their damages and consult with their insurance carriers.

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