Since the beginning of last weekend, Kauai–one of the rainiest places on the planet–has been hit by devastating rainstorms, prompting widespread evacuations.
According to a report by The Washington Post, the island received upwards of 28 inches of rain in 36 hours, complete with house-shaking thunder and resulting flooding that laid waste to homes and cars. Kauai is known to receive over 300 days of rainfall a year, and Mount Waialeale on the island averages more than 400 inches of rain annually. Still, even with those concessions, the National Weather Service notes that the amount of rain Kauai received in such a short period was record-breaking: Per the NPS, the rain gauge in the town of Hanalei collected 27.52 inches of rain from early Saturday morning into Sunday morning, breaking all previous one- and two-day rainfall maximums for that location.
The Hanalei River area flash flooded, with reports saying water levels rose three feet in a matter of minutes, covering the western part of the island in masses of brown floodwater.
Multiple mudslides, power and water outages, as well as fear that a dam would burst prompted evacuation notices by Hawaii Governor David Ige. As of Tuesday morning, 273 people were evacuated by helicopter or bus to safer areas. The Kalihiwai Reservoir, held back by the dam in question, was nearing capacity, but the dam was inspected and now deemed safe.
While the worst is past, weather forecasts still call for light rain throughout the week.
Our thoughts go out to all those affected by the devastating rainstorms.
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