Historic Floods, Landslides Devastate Island of Kauai

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Historic Floods, Landslides Devastate Island of Kauai

Most people have heard or at least read some news about the devastating flash flood event in parts of Kauai during mid-April. Certainly people living and working in Hanalei and other parts of northeast Kauai don't need any reminders.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of those impacted by the devastating rainstorms on Kauai, both residents and visitors!

The National Weather Service (NWS) said that close to 28 of rain fell in 24 hours causing widespread damage and evacuations. Then comes word that, in actuality, during the 24-hour period between April 14 and 15 a staggering 49.69 inches of rain fell at a rain gauge about 1 mile west of Hanalei. A sort of Guinness Book of World Records for bad weather, it was the heaviest 24-hour rainfall ever recorded in the U.S. Were told by weather experts not to be surprised that a national rainfall record would come from Kauai since it contains some of the wettest landscapes on Earth. Mt. Waialeale, for example, receives about 460 inches of rain per year, and is the wettest place in America.

It rains every day somewhere in the Hawaiian islands at any time of the year. Fortunately it seldom rains in one spot for more than 3 days straight. Kauai is an exception but, like other Hawaiian islands, also has a wide range of microclimates. Although, for example, Mount Waialeale is one of the wettest spots on earth, just a few miles away Waimea Canyon is almost a desert. For another example, Hilo on the Big Island ranks among the wettest cities in the nation (180 inches of rainfall a year), but only 60 miles away in Puako it rains less than 6 inches a year.

Let Kauais epic deluge be a strong reminder for visitors to Hawaii of the importance of having guaranteed backup and trouble-shooting in the event of very bad weather or other unforeseen events. Tom Barefoots Tours staff is ready to assist people whose activities or tours anywhere in the islands are interrupted by weather and other problems.

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