Still going: Officials try to rescue more people days after Kauai deluge

  • In tHawaii, Hawaii Gov. David Ige, left, flies over the flood-damaged areas of the island of Kauai. (Courtesy of Hawaii Governor's Office via AP)
  • Andrew Segawa pushes away mud from the roadway on Waihohonou Road on Monday, April 16, 2018, in Koloa, Kauai. Heavy rain and flooding caused extensive damage to both the north and south parts of the island. (Jamm Aquino/Honolulu Star-Advertiser via AP)

HONOLULU — Authorities were still trying to rescue tourists and other people stranded at evacuation centers Tuesday after heavy rains battered Kauai over the weekend.

The U.S. Army, National Guard, and the county airlifted more than 220 people Monday and are going back for more evacuations, local emergency management officials said. Thirteen people were still stuck at a shelter in Kilauea, a small town on the northeastern shore, said Coralie Matayoshi with the American Red Cross of Hawaii.

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On Tuesday, officials said they airlifted 125 more out of the north shore area.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources said it airlifted 25 people from the popular camping destination, the Kalalau area of the Napali Coast State Wilderness Park.

“We’ll be starting to do damage assessment in Kauai for the first time today, because the weather was bad and the roads were blocked. We couldn’t do it before,” Matayoshi said.

Heavy rains caused flooding and mudslides Saturday, forcing residents and tourists into evacuation centers. Roads were closed, including on the island’s North Shore.

The National Weather Service recorded 28.1 inches (71.3 centimeters) of rainfall in the small North Shore town of Hanalei between 2 a.m. Saturday and 2 a.m. Sunday. The record for a 24-hour period in Hanalei was set in 2012 at 28.54 inches (72.49 centimeters).

There have been no reports of major injuries. At least two vacant houses on the North Shore were completely washed off their foundations, county spokeswoman Sarah Blane said Monday.

“It’s definitely the worst storm in recent memory,” Blane said.

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Some residents said the storm was worse than Hurricane Iniki in 1992.

On Tuesday, at the request of Sen. President Ron Kouchi, Rep. James Tokioka and Councilmember Derek Kawakami – all representing Kauai – Gov. David Ige directed the state Department of Taxation to provide relief for Kauai residents affected by the devastating floods and landslides.

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