Hundreds of people have been evacuated from Kauai, Hawaii, after more than two feet of rain lashed the island in just 24 hours causing heavy flooding and landslides.
By Monday afternoon, emergency crews evacuated 152 people by helicopter, 121 people by bus and others by water, according to the governor’s office.
Officials were warning people who wanted to be evacuated that it’s not known when they can return because of landslides blocking Kuhio Highway on the island’s north shore.
Hundreds evacuated in Hawaii as two feet of rain lashesd Kauai bringing landslides and flooding. This photo provided by Kauai resident James Hennessy shows the view as he maneuvered a stand-up paddleboarding along his flooded street in Haena, Hawaii
An aerial photo, provided by the U.S. Coast Guard, shows flooding along Kauai’s Hanalei Bay, Hawaii
Hawaii Gov. David Ige issued an emergency proclamation for the island where heavy rainfall damaged or flooded dozens of homes in Hanalei, Wainiha, Haena and Anahola
Another aerial image shows the flooded streets along Kauai’s Hanalei Bay, Hawaii, on Sunday, April 15, 2018
Forty people, mostly tourists, were stuck since Saturday night at a Red Cross shelter in an elementary school in the north shore town of Hanalei. Plans to airlift them out of the school, which was surrounded by water, were abandoned because severe weather grounded helicopters, said Coralie Matayoshi, CEO of American Red Cross of Hawaii.
On Sunday night, another 21 people made their way to the shelter on personal watercraft and boats, she said. The shelter earlier had run out of food and water, but received adequate provisions Sunday, she said.
By the afternoon, flood waters receded enough for a bus to take them to another shelter, the Red Cross said.
An estimated 30 campers were stranded in the Napali Coast State Wilderness Park on Monday. State parks officials were coordinating with county and state emergency workers about prioritizing rescue missions.
In this Sunday photo, a car is wedged between a house and debris in Anahola, Hawaii, after the Anahola River broke its banks in the pre-dawn hours and flooded the community downstream
Anahola resident Devin Ruiz, right, washes down equipment, as Steve Evans and Rocia Amir work to salvage the mate harvest in Anahola, Hawaii, after the floods
Trees and debris line the front yard of a home in Anahola, Hawaii, after the Anahola River broke its banks on Sunday
In this Sunday, April 15, 2018 photo, Kelii Kinney checks on his flood damage property in Anahola, Hawaii
Water floods the the Wailua Golf Course in Lihue, Hawaii, forcing the closure of the nearby Kuhio Highway on Sunday
Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. and Hawaii Gov. Davide Ige assessed damage and rescue needs by helicopter on Monday.
‘While we have a long road to recovery ahead of us, we are incredibly grateful for everyone who has stepped to the plate to help in one way or another,’ Carvalho said.
There were no reports of major injuries. At least two houses on the north shore completely washed off their foundations, county spokeswoman Sarah Blane said. The houses were vacant, she said.
The Red Cross said volunteers knew of four destroyed homes in Wainiha, on the north shore, and there are probably more homes damaged in Koloa, on the south side, based on aerial photos.
‘It’s definitely the worst storm in recent memory,’ Blane said.
Some residents said it was worse than Hurricane Iniki in 1992.
An aerial photo, taken from video provided by the U.S. Coast Guard, shows the flooded fields along Kauai’s Hanalei Bay, Hawaii
The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Kittiwake surveys Nawiliwili Harbor as they arrive to Kauai. Kittiwake, homeported in Honolulu, travelled to Kauai to assist in response and recovery efforts following a storm dropping more than 27 inches of rain and causing severe flooding
The National Weather Service recorded 28.1 inches (71.3 centimeters) of rainfall in 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.
‘It’s highly likely that the record was broken by heavy rainfall after the gauge stopped recording,’ said meteorologist Chevy Chevalier. The weather service is trying to figure out why the gauge stopped recording, he said.
Meredith Zietz, who was still trapped in her Hanalei home Monday, posted video of a skittish bison as it dashed through her waterlogged yard.
‘It was amazing. It looked scared though,’ she said. She said she believed it was from a buffalo farm near the Hanalei River.
Nearby in Haena, James Hennessy maneuvered his flooded, murky street on a standup paddleboard to check on neighbors.
‘We really can’t go anywhere,’ he said, adding that he’s was grateful to have electricity, even though there was no water or internet service.
Jeff Culverhouse, manager and partner of a Hanalei strip mall, was wishing for a hot shower as he pumped water out of elevators Monday. Every shop in the mall had 4 to 6 inches (10.16 to 15.24 centimeters) of water and thick mud, he said, though the Big Save Market was open.
‘The place is a freaking mess, to say the least,’ he said.