Kauai Flooding Eases; $125 Million Approved for Response in Hawaii

Ada Carr and Sean Breslin
Published: April 19, 2018

Days after flooding began on the Hawaiian island of Kauai, destroying homes and forcing hundreds to flee, airlift rescues continued as state officials worked to get funding approved for a response to the disaster.

Hawaii lawmakers said Wednesday that $125 million has been approved for disaster funding that'll be used to repair the infrastructure, which was ravaged in some areas by the flooding, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported. Kauai will receive $100 million of that funding, while the other $25 million will go to other parts of the state affected by the floods, the report added.

According to the office of Hawaii Gov. David Ige, emergency crews were able to evacuate 152 people by helicopter, 121 more in buses and several others by boat on Monday. Those who were evacuated were warned that they'd be away from their homes indefinitely because landslides continue to block Kuhio Highway on Kauai's north shore, according to the Associated Press.

At least four houses were destroyed along the north shore, and Red Cross volunteers told the AP more homes were probably destroyed in Koloa on the southern end of the island. Dozens more homes were reported flooded or otherwise damaged.

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The homes that washed away on the north shore were vacant, and no serious injuries were reported during the floods, the AP also said.

"I've lived here all my life and this storm was pretty gnarly," resident Kevin Kaleiohi told Hawaii News Now.

Coralie Chun Matayoshi, chief executive officer of the Red Cross in Hawaii, told the AP that a shelter at Hanalei Elementary School briefly ran out of food and water when weather grounded helicopters, keeping the Hawaii Guard from delivering supplies.

Ige declared a state of emergency in response to the flooding disaster on Kauai.

"I've lived here all my life and this is one of the most serious situations on Kauai," Mayor Bernard Carvalho told Hawaii News Now. "Things are just terrible. What we're really focusing on right now is search and rescue ... and a thorough damage assessment."

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