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Emergency Proclamation Issued Declaring Kaua‘i a Disaster

April 15, 2018, 2:25 PM HST · Updated April 15, 2:28 PM
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Satellite imagery 4.15.18. PC: NOAA/NWS

Emergency Proclamation Issued:

Gov. David Ige today issued an emergency proclamation for the County of Kauaʻi after unprecedented rains caused flooding and a series of landslides on Kūhiō Highway.

“We’ve mobilized to assist Mayor Carvalho and his emergency management team. The Hawaiʻi Guard and the City and County of Honolulu are preparing to help Kauaʻi with search and rescue operations as crews continue to clear the roadway,” said Gov. Ige.

The proclamation authorizes the expenditure of state monies as appropriated for the speedy and efficient relief of damages caused by this weather event.

Radar imagery 4.15.18. PC: NOAA/NWS

Flood Warning Extended

The National Weather Service in Honolulu has extended the Flash Flood Warning for the island of Kauaʻi until 4:45 p.m. on Sunday, April 15, 2018.

At 1:28 p.m., intense rainfall with rates at least 4 to 5 inches per hour continued over north and east Kauaʻi. The heaviest rainfall has spread east and will produce a rapid and significant rise in the Kapaʻa Stream and Wailua River water levels.

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This is in addition to the severe flooding ongoing in Hanalei River.

Road access west of Princeville is not possible and several communities are isolated due to washed out roads.

Emergency managers are advising the public to avoid any unnecessary travel to north and east Kauaʻi until further notice.

State mobilizes response to Kauaʻi floods and landslides

Governor David Ige this morning assembled state emergency management leaders to assist Kauaʻi County’s response to serious flooding and landslides on that island.

In a video conference with the Kauaʻi Emergency Management Agency, first responders, and Mayor Bernard Carvalho, the governor committed to providing all available resources to helping Kauaʻi residents.

“In a situation like the Kauaʻi flooding, the response begins at the county level,” Ige said, “but we’re coordinating help from around the state. Based on the county’s needs, we may also bring in other state agencies like DLNR to provide specialized skills and personnel. I especially want to recognize our Department of Transportation personnel who worked all night to try to keep access open to these affected areas.”

The governor’s emergency proclamation provides relief for damage caused by this weekend’s floods and landslides.  Authorities continue to monitor conditions across the state as the weather system makes its way south along the island chain.

At the same time, Adjutant General and Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency Director Arthur “Joe” Logan agreed to an initial commitment of Hawaiʻi National Guard personnel to work with county first responders in canvassing and assessing affected areas, and helicopters to assist in survey flights and rescues, if necessary.

Logan said the National Guard would continue to monitor conditions on Kauaʻi and confer with Kauaʻi County officials to determine what additional assistance may be needed.

HI-EMA Administrator Thomas L. Travis is working with Honolulu City and County Department of Emergency Management officials to determine what assets Oʻahu DEM can provide to assist Kauaʻi County.

Ige thanked the first responders and others who worked through the night to address the mounting challenges brought by the heavy rains. “This is a team effort,” Ige said. “Nobody goes through this kind of disaster alone.”

Red Cross Response:

American Red Cross volunteers opened shelters at Hanalei Elementary, Kapa‘a Middle School, and Church of the Pacific in Princeville at 8 p.m. on Saturday night for those affected by flash flooding and landslides on the north shore.

Air rescue operations have commenced on the North Shore area of Kauaʻi. The Kauaʻi Fire Department is coordinating with the US Coast Guard to provide air and search and rescue operations on the North Shore. A Honolulu Fire Department helicopter and rescue crew is being deployed to provide support. Red Cross has set up a reception center/shelter at the Church of the Pacific to receive evacuees from the North Shore.

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