After enduring pummeling from Lane, Kauai in 'disaster mode'

After enduring pummeling from Lane, flood-weary Kauai back in 'disaster mode'
Flooding on Kauai washed away or damaged several roadways. (Image: Hawaii News Now)
Flooding on Kauai washed away or damaged several roadways. (Image: Hawaii News Now)

WAINIHA, KAUAI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Mona Yarberry and her family live in Kauai's Waioli Valley.

They were making progress cleaning up the mess left behind by April's historic flooding when torrential rains from what was once Tropical Storm Lane devastated parts of the island.

She says her property was overtaken raging rapids — at least 2 feet high — and the water was so powerful it moved structures all across the yard.

"This last flood, it just completed what had started in April and it made all the water go straight to us. Just us," she said. "It was definitely a lot of water we had to keep from our house."

The property is one of potentially dozens damaged in the flooding that started Monday and continued into Tuesday.

For the Yarberrys, life changed in April — and the storm this week means has pushed back a much-needed return to normalcy.

She said because of landslides, the family has had to hike out of their property for the last four months, unable to drive to and from home in a car.

If they needed to go to the grocery store or run errands, she says they would throw on a backpack and hike three miles round-trip to the highway, where a friend with a car would pick them up.

"We've been going on foot. on mules or quads or horses. and then it just rains every day," she said. "The stream kept taking everything we laid down. The carpet, chips, wood, gravel. we put layers. It's been rough."

Yarberry says the work to get the property back to where it was has been grueling, and says a lot of the labor has come from her own family, friends, and some volunteer groups.

She hopes something is done soon to prevent Waioli Stream from overflowing into homes again.

"It shouldn't be here so it needs to be redirected to where it was originally," she said. "There could be a little help from the state as far as getting us back to somewhere where we were. our ditches have all been buried."

Pat Mederios has been helping his family in Wainiha rebuild over the last several months.

She said everyone is still in "disaster mode."

"It kind of came back again," with the flooding from Lane, she said. "People think the hurricane passed, but it's actually pretty bad around here."

In Hanalei, the floodwaters washed away parts of the county's new temporary access road for its Weke Road project. Crews were back out Thursday grading and stabilizing the roadway.

Repairs also continue on Kuhio Highway between Waikoko and Wainiha.

The additional damage caused by Lane will most likely increase the cost and timeline of the project, officials said.

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