Overall, the Hawaiian Islands have had quite a wet winter and start to spring of 2018. Unfortunately, reports of flooding and landslides have been in the news far too often in recent months. According to data and reports from the National Weather Service, rainfall in February and March were above average. In some areas, rainfall levels were at the highest experienced in decades.
The worst of this wet weather pattern happened this past weekend with major flooding on the Kauai’s north shore. We’ve seen staggering reports of up to 32 inches of rain from Friday night to Sunday night on Kauai’s north shore. Flooding and landslides caused major damage to homes and roads as you can see from this Hawaii News Now report.
Here’s a tweet from the Hawaii Department of Transportation showing some of the damage they are trying to clear.
HDOT crews and contractors continue removing landslide debris and trees from Kuhio Hwy in Waikoko. Hawaiian Telcom is working to restore utility poles and lines. Kuhio Hwy remains closed between Waikoko and Wainiha. Hanalei Bridge is also still closed. #Kauaiflooding #hitraffic pic.twitter.com/9Q0rZnCbxu
— Hawaii DOT (@DOTHawaii) April 17, 2018
Here’s another stunning post that was shared on the Hike Kaua’i with me Facebook page.
If you are going to Kauai soon, here’s what you need to know/do:
- If you have booked a stay in the Ha’ena to Hanalei area (basically anywhere off of Highway 560) contact your accommodation to make sure it is still open and accessible. (Note that Princeville area, where most hotels are, is on high ground and did not flood.)
- Sections of Kuhio Road on Kauai’s north shore are closed due to storm debris and landslides. It may be several days or longer for the roads to be cleared. Avoid this area.
- Several Kauai state parks are closed per this Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources Facebook post. Based on the amount of damage to nearby roads, I would imagine that the popular Kalalau Trail on the Napali Coast State Park will remain closed for at least a week and possibly longer. Before you head out to visit a Kauai park, check the DLNR website for closures.
- Limit your exposure to flood waters as described in this Hawaii Department of Health bulletin.
Sources for more information:
We send our thoughts and prayers to the residents and visitors who are recovering from this flood.