When floodwaters took away everything they own, a community restored their hope

A Maui teacher loses nearly all of her belongings to severe flooding

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - After heavy rains and floods swept through the Valley Isle on Monday, many residents continue to clean up the mess that was left behind.

Maui High School teacher Rachael Denessen is one of the many residents who lost nearly all of their belongings to the flood.

Denessen, who lives in Haiku, said that she remembered hearing her landlord yell.

The next thing she knew, a wall of water came through her home.

“It happened in a matter of minutes. We lost a lot of furniture, we lost a lot of our clothes, a lot of my books. As an English teacher, of course, that’s particularly painful,” she said.

Thankfully, Denessen said that her family, including her 20-month-old son, were not in the home during the flood. She said that the garage and bottom floor were completely flooded.

Her floors were soaked with water and mud, and everything has been ruined. The flood also swept away her husband’s work tools and other equipment.

“It’s been really rough when your idea of home is the place you go when things go wrong — the fact that that’s what you can’t return to because of the damage, it’s really difficult,” Denessen said.

Although she and her family are struggling, Denessen said the community, her students and fellow teachers have stepped up for them in their time of need.

Denessen and her family are currently staying at the Maui Seaside as they prepare for weeks of repairs.

They have set up a GoFundMe to help pay for the damages and items that were lost in the flood.

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