Kauai flooding clean up continues after overnight rain

  • A man examines damage Thursday from a recent storm on Kauai. (Photos by County of Kauai/via AP)

  • Officials survey damage Thursday from the recent storm on Kauai.

HONOLULU — Weather officials downgraded flash flood alerts in Hawaii on Friday after more rain on Kauai added to flooding left behind by last weekend’s deluge.

The National Weather Service lifted a flash flood warning for Kauai and a flash flood watch across the Hawaiian islands.

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The north shore town of Hanalei saw 28.1 inches of rainfall between 2 a.m. Saturday and 2 a.m. Sunday. Weather officials say it was likely record-breaking rain, but the rain gauge there stopped working.

Nearby Wainiha saw moderate rain Thursday night — 2.5 inches over a 12-hour period, said Ian Morrison, a meteorologist with the weather service.

Kauai saw some sunshine Friday as residents cleaned up after flooding left people stranded in a shelter that became surrounded by water, washed houses off their foundations and scattered bison from a farm.

Crews worked to clear more than a dozen landslides on Kuhio Highway along the island’s north shore. It will be several weeks before there will be access to some communities. The Hawaii Department of Transportation said officials expect to open a one-lane route to Wainiha and Haena for emergency access on May 7.

Nearly 500 people have been airlifted from flooded areas since Monday.

The additional rain compounded the stress of coping with the aftermath, Hanalei resident Gayla Spencer said.

Spencer and her family were in the process of moving when the weekend storm hit, so their belongings were in the garage in boxes. All those items were ruined, she said.

“It’s OK, it’s just materialistic things that can be replaced,” she said.

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What’s more devastating, Spencer said, is that a landslide covered a local graveyard where her sister and other family members are buried.

“It’s a delicate situation,” she said.

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