Local Connection: Kauai Floods

Local Connection: Kauai Floods

The torrential rain and floods that devastated parts of Kauai and Oahu last week brought out many stories of compassion, resourcefulness and resilience in our communities.

The lack of warning also provided a major test of leadership at the state and county levels with mixed results.

Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho was highly visible and active. His first responders left their own damaged homes and stressed families to help others and worked well with federal agencies to coordinate the air-and-boat evacuation from the North shore.

It was also impressive how quickly power and water utilities were restored even in the hardest hit areas.

Governor Ige, saw the damage but was apparently so slow to promise financial aid – the mayor bypassed him to get a $100 million commitment from the legislature.

And with Honolulu's mayor out of town the Friday night storm caught city officials flat-footed and short-handed.  Leaving some communities the dangerous and urgent work of clearing clogged streams and debris without much city help.

Luckily,  Hawaii's people have learned how to fend for themselves in crisis.

This storm will be remembered for years to come for the damage that was done and the way our community responded.

There is still so much to be done. But as we have so many times before, we will do all we can to make whole the people whose lives were devastated.

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