Kauai sets new national record for rainfall

Weather

Kauai now holds a new national record for the most rainfall in a 24-hour period.

The National Weather Service says 49.69 inches of rain fell in Waipa Gardens on Kauai between April 14-15, 2018.

That was during the flood event that destroyed homes, roads and cut off part of the island for weeks.

The Waipa Gardens gauge that registered that amount of rain is located in a grassy meadow on the north shore of Kauai near Hanalei.

Almost a year since the record breaking rain the flooding that followed, residents in Haena say that convoys still need to be sent out to get around.

Kuhio Highway, the main road that leads in and out of the area, hasn’t been completely cleared from debris caused by mudslides. Repairwork is still also underway by the Department of Transportation. Costs are estimated at $77 million dollars.

“We can only work as fast as mother nature allows us to, and we’ve been challenged with some rainy days that have prolonged the completion of some of these key projects,” said Derek Kawakami, Kauai County mayor. “The rebuilding of Kuhio Highway, slope stabilizations, the repair of some of our bridges, all of those projects we’ve got crews out there that are working night and day as fast as we possibly can.” 

He says in the meantime, they’ve been briefing residents on what to do if another flood situation occurs with Hanalei to Haena disaster plan workshops.

They plan to not only rebuild, but also strengthen current infrastructure.

“We have to be mindful that this type of weather pattern with climate change is expected to happen again so we have to be mindful and be prepared and take a look at how we can mitigate future risks,” said Kawakami.

He says they have talked with flood infrastructure experts… and is hoping to bring their expertise to create buildings that can withstand lots of rain. back to you.

The National Climate Extremes Committee made the record official after reviewing all the data. The previous record for the most rainfall in a 24-hour period was in Alvin, Texas, where 43 inches of rain fell back in July 1979. 

For the full report on the record rainfall, click here.

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