HONOLULU – Weather officials lowered flash flood warnings in Hawaii on Friday after more rain on the island of Kauai added to the floods left behind last weekend's flood. On Friday, the state Health Department deployed a medical team in Kauai to provide assistance to flood victims in the areas most affected by fears about dirty water, reports KGMB, affiliate of CBS Honolulu.
"Those floods are going to be dirty and worrying for a long time," said Dr. Janet Berreman, who heads the Kauai District Health Office. She said that people should wash regularly with soap and fresh water after coming in contact with flood waters and covering open sores or cuts.
The National Weather Service raised a flash flood warning for Kauai and a flash flood through the Hawaiian Islands. But because the terrain is still saturated in many areas, meteorologists say it does not take a lot of rain to cause flash floods, reports KGMB.
The city on the north coast of Hanalei saw 28.1 inches of rain between 2 a.m. Saturday and 2 a.m. on Sunday. The meteorological authorities say that rain was likely to break records, but the rain gauge stopped working.
Near Wainiha saw moderate rain on Thursday night – 2.5 inches over a 12-hour period, said weather service meteorologist Ian Morrison.
The National Weather Service said that just before 4:15 a.m., gauge reports along the Hanalei River indicated a rapid increase in water level, up to seven feet, reports KGMB. The radar also showed heavy rain in the inner part of the island.
Kauai saw some sun on Friday as residents cleaned up after the floods that left stranded people in a shelter that was surrounded by water, washed the houses of their foundations and scattered bison from a farm.
The crews worked to clear more than a dozen landslides on the Kuhio highway along the island's north coast. It will be several weeks before there is access to some communities. The Hawaii Department of Transportation said officials expect to open a one-lane route to Wainiha and Haena for emergency access on May 7, according to KGMB.
Nearly 500 people have been moved from flooded areas since Monday.
The extra rain aggravated the stress of dealing with the consequences, said Gayla Spencer, a resident of Hanalei.
Spencer and his family were in the process of moving out when the weekend storm came, so their belongings were in the garage in boxes. All those items were ruined, she said.
"Okay, they are just materialistic things that can be replaced," he said.
What is most devastating, Spencer said, is that a landslide covered a local cemetery where his sister and other relatives are buried.
"It's a delicate situation," he said.
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