County of Kauaʻi officials assessing damages following recent storm

Listen to this Article
4 minutes
Loading Audio... Article will play after ad...
Playing in :00

The County of Kauaʻi is recovering from a torrential rainstorm that swept through the island late Thursday into Friday morning, leaving damages including widespread flooding, road shutdowns, several rescues and boats adrift from the Līhuʻe harbor.

  • A red car had been abandoned on a flooded road off of the Kūhiō Highway in Kapaʻa following the storm. Taken April 12, 2024. Photo credit: Emma Grunwald / Kauaʻi Now
  • A truck drives through a flooded road off of the Kūhiō Highway, near the Sheraton Kauaʻi Beach Resort, following the storm on April 12. Photo Credit: Emma Grunwald / Kauaʻi Now
  • The grass on the Kapaʻa New Town Complex sports field was flooded on the morning of April 12 following the storm. Photo Credit: Emma Grunwald / Kauaʻi Now
  • Traffic on a flooded Kūhiō Highway on April 12, 2024. Photo credit: Emma Grunwald / Kauaʻi Now
  • A ditch and yard of the Kauaʻi Community Correctional Center, located just off the Kūhiō Highway, was flooded with water on the morning of April 12. Photo Credit: Emma Grunwald / Kauaʻi Now
  • No residents visited the Kapaʻa neighborhood center, which was open for shelter during the storm. Emma Grunwald / Kauaʻi Now
  • A flooded road in Kapa‘a is seen on April 12, 2024. Photo credit: Emma Grunwald / Kauaʻi Now
  • No residents visited the Kapaʻa neighborhood center, which was open for shelter during the storm. Emma Grunwald / Kauaʻi Now
  • Kapaʻa beach waters were brown on the afternoon of April 12 due to storm runoff. The county of Kauaʻi issued a brown water advisory following the storm due to potential contaminants from cesspools, animal fecal matter, pathogens, and other pollutants. Photo Credit: Emma Grunwald / Kauaʻi Now

Both Gov. Josh Green and Acting Mayor Reiko Matsuyama issued emergency proclamations following the storm on April 12, which will be in effect for 60 days to provide disaster relief for losses and damages.

The event is the island’s biggest storm of the year, with the National Weather Service reporting rainfall totaling about 12 inches. The heavy rain prompted a flash flood warning at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, which remained in effect until Friday morning.

“This is our first time we’ve gone into emergency proclamation (this year), for sure,” said county spokesperson Kim Tamaoka in a phone conversation with Kauaʻi Now on Friday.  Emergency proclamations were last issued for the Waimea Valley Landslide in January 2022 and flooding in March 2021.

“The severe weather on Kaua‘i has caused damage to our roads, bridges, and other infrastructure,” Green said in a statement. “This emergency disaster proclamation will help the state and county with the emergency response to the heavy rains, flooding and landslides impacting the people of Kaua‘i.”

Damage assessments and costs from the weather event are still being determined by county officials, but they include 10 storm-related landslides and two sinkholes, according to the County of Kauaʻiʻs Department of Public Works.


County officials confirmed that heavy winds caused three boats to become unanchored from Līhuʻe’s Nāwiliwili Harbor.

Two of those boats were found damaged at Running Waters, a nearby beach in Līhuʻe. Tamaoka said one of the two boats had a person on it, who was able to swim safely to shore. The second boat was unoccupied.

Tamaoka stated the location of the third boat is currently unknown, as it was not registered with the Harbor Master. Kauaʻi Now reached out to the U.S. Coast Guard for more information on the third displaced boat.

Major disruptions were caused by a construction crane that fell onto the Wailua Bridge, causing heavy traffic and southbound lane closures of the Kūhiō Highway, as well as a fallen utility line closing the road near Hanalei Bridge. The county announced that Kūhiō Highway, near Hanalei Bridge, opened back up at 5:30 p.m.

However, the southbound Kūhiō Highway lane on the Wailua Bridge will remain closed for the weekend and is planned to reopen on Monday, April 15.


Most storm-related rescues were in the Kōloa and Kapa‘a areas, where residents needed assistance due to heavy flooding. Approximately 18 rescues took place following the storm, with 10 in Kapa‘a and 8 in Kōloa, according to Tamaoka. No injuries were reported.

Early Friday morning, the county of Kauaʻiʻs Emergency Management Agency announced that shelters were open at the Kapaʻa and Kōloa neighborhood centers due to residential flooding.

Kauaʻi Now visited the Kapaʻa neighborhood center at approximately 10:30 a.m. and found two employees with the American Red Cross Kauaʻi with no work to do, as no residents had entered to seek shelter. “We thought people would need to be here,” said Red Cross employee Dawn Wooten.

Wooten said she had been at the shelter since 3:30 a.m., and no one came in to seek help. Kauaʻi Red Cross Director Padraic Gallagher reported that a total of four houseless residents on the island sought shelter at the Kōloa neighborhood center, while they waited for the rain to pass.

The flash flood watch for Kauaʻi was canceled by the National Weather Service late Friday afternoon. However, county officials are advising the public to remain cautious, as more inclement weather is expected this weekend.


Emma Grunwald
Emma Grunwald is a reporter for Kauaʻi Now. You can reach her at
Read Full Bio

Sponsored Content

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Stay in-the-know with daily
headlines delivered straight to your inbox.


This comments section is a public community forum for the purpose of free expression. Although Kauai Now encourages respectful communication only, some content may be considered offensive. Please view at your own discretion. View Comments