2 months after historic flooding on Kauai, mayor says 'there's much more to look at'

2 months after historic flooding on Kauai, mayor says 'there's much more to look at'
Updated: May. 24, 2018 at 10:48 AM HST
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KAUAI (Hawaii News Now) - More than two months after torrential rain pounded Kauai, communities are slowly picking up the pieces and working to clean up the mess left behind.

"I'm going to say we're in disaster recovery right now, but there's much more to look at to take place," Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho said Thursday in a live interview on Hawaii News Now Sunrise.

Carvalho said there's still "a long road ahead" for parts of Kauai – primarily the north shore areas – as work to get the island back on its feet continues.

He recently signed a 60-day extension on the emergency proclamation that was issued for flood-ravaged communities.

The only highway into and out of Wainiha and Haena -- Kuhio Highway -- was blocked by landslides when the rain event happened mid-April, and Carvalho said it still hasn't been full reopened. At this time, only one lane remains open.

"There's still areas of our island that are not accessible," Carvalho said. "Our roadways are not accessible."

And, the dozens of students that had to relocate due to flood damage are still attending classes at a satellite campus at the Hanalei Colony Resort.

However, Carvalho said President Trump's approval of a disaster declaration that would provide federal funds to flood-devastated areas is helping with road and infrastructure repairs.

"It's about the people having the opportunity to go back to normal lifestyle as soon as possible," Carvalho said.

In the meantime, Carvalho has this message for those are hesitant to visit Kauai in the wake of the flood disaster: "We're encouraging our visitors to still come. Most of the island is OK."

A special fundraiser event will take place in downtown Honolulu on Thursday night for those who would like to contribute to recovery efforts. Meanwhile, the donations and support for Kauai continue to pour in.

"Hawaii's a special place. The aloha spirit came out. People were suffering, but at home, all the families pulled together," Carvalho said.

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