Bison roaming free on the beach at Hanalei, after slipping away from a local North Shore farm. Photo Ian Nelson
Kauai's North Shore Is In A State Of Emergency
Torrential rains, flash floods, and escaped Bison roaming free at Hanalei.
The island Kauai is locked in emergency conditions today as heavy rainfall continues to flood the island with no relief in sight.
From the National Weather Service:
THE FLASH FLOOD WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 145 PM HST FOR THE
ISLAND OF KAUAI IN KAUAI COUNTY...
At 1127 AM HST...intense rainfall has redeveloped over the Hanalei
and Wainiha River basins in the last hour. The highest rates of 3 to
4 inches per hour were focused on the Hanalei River basin and
another flood wave is likely headed toward Kuhio Highway. There is
no road access west of Princeville. THIS CONTINUES TO BE A VERY
DANGEROUS SITUATION, ESPECIALLY WITH COMPLETELY SATURATED
CONDITIONS. AVOID UNNECESSARY TRAVEL TO NORTH KAUAI.
This warning includes the entire island of Kauai.
Hardest hit is the North Shore area, which has received over 27 inches of rain in the last 24 hours.
Roads are washed out, bridges closed, sinkholes have swallowed cars and left both residents and visitors stranded.
Honolulu and Kauai firefighters, along with the US Coast Guard, are in the process of providing rescue operations.
Local rumors are circulating about dozens of tourists who were stuck on the North Shore after waters rose yesterday, forced to spend the night in rental cars parked at local beach parks. Locals claim that the Kalihiwai dam is close to breach and are being urged to evacuate.
In a somewhat lighter note, a group of bison escaped from a local farm due to flooding and are roaming the Hanalei area. It makes for surreal pictures, though the owners are understandably worried and have requested assistance from those who own jet skis in order to corral their errant livestock.
Yeah, that's a Bison on the Hanalei Reef. Photo by Ian Nelson.
Mayor Bernie Carvalho has declared a state of emergency and evacuation shelters are open.
This writer is safe and sound up in the hills. The bar is stocked, pineapple mimosas are flowing, and the current plan is to stay in place, sheltered, and drink myself stupid.