After a wet, wet, wet weekend, Monday was not all sunny like last week. In fact, it was quite the opposite. The rain came down by the bucketful today, barely letting up between torrential downpours. In the afternoon, the wind picked up and whipped the rain sideways across the lanai and into any open window on that side.
The rain totals for the day were impressive, with Hanalei getting 17.5 inches, and 6 gauges on Kaua’i over 10 inches within 24 hours:
Source: NOAA/National Weather Service
I estimate we got between 8 and 10 inches in the Wailua Houselots. The yard was full of puddles again:
And now the roads in the neiborhood were starting to form pools:
And then around noon today, I heard the sound that every homeowner dreads: drip, drip, drip. I quickly climbed up in the attic and found 4 small leaks in the roof. I think the wind was lifting the shingles and blowing the rain underneath. I managed to crawl around the ceiling joists and put buckets under the leaks, before they soaked through the ceiling. The worst leak was at one of the holes for the solar hot water pipes going through the roof to the panels.
But as upsetting as that was, many people on Kaua’i have it worse. Koloa and Hanalei were flooded already yesterday, as shown on these news reports from last night:
- Koloa camp, roadways flood in unrelenting heavy rain on Kauai (with 2 videos)
- Images: Hanalei, Kauai Flooding (slideshow)
And here is the Hanalei valley from today:
As you can see in that last one, the Hanalei river valley was flooded again as it was in November 2009. There are some houses and businesses along the river that probably have several feet of water inside. Since the road runs near the river, the water covered the road as well. I read they took people who needed to get out in heavy trucks. There were other road closures in places where streams and runoff covered the road. There was one lane closed at Kalihiwai Bridge which probably means it was flooded like November 2009 as well:
Update: it turns out it was a landslide that closed a lane at Kalihiwai Bridge (from an article in The Garden Island). There were also several road closures due to flooding and fallen trees, and the Kaua’i Beach Resort (formerly Hilton and Radisson) was without power and sent guests to the Lihue neighborhood center. The latest article from the Garden Island has a long list of incidents and closures, including a sewage spill at Lydgate.
I do have to say that we had electricity and internet connection all day, not even a flicker. We took advantage of that by snuggling in bed and watching a streaming movie tonight. So a big thanks to the utilities who built a tough network, and were probably out in this weather dealing with incidents.
The most impressive accident I saw reported so far was a pickup truck swept off of the river crossing at the Keahua Arboratum inland of Wailua. I wonder if the guy was stuck on the other side and desperate to get out, or show-boating (to use a nautical term):
That comes from an article titled “Flood warning extended for Kauai until 2:30 a.m.” and it is still raining off and on tonight, so stay safe out there. I’m just glad I used big buckets up in the attic.
Just for comparison, many towns on Kaua’i easily beat New York City’s record of 7.7 inches (set just last summer). But the rainiest day ever recorded on Kaua’i was back in 1956, according to the Western Regional Climate Center:
… during the storm of January 24-25, 1956, over 38 inches of rain fell at the Plantation Office, Kilauea Sugar Plantation, Kauai, within a 24-hour period, out of a storm total of 43.5 inches. During the same storm six inches of rain fell during a single 30-minute period and about 12 inches fell in one hour. The 38-inch value for 24 hours is conservatively low, because the gage was already overflowing when it was emptied for the first time. The six-inch value is correct within one or two tenths of an inch; the 12-inch value for one hour is an estimate only – again because of overflow – and may be in error by as much as an inch.
And records for the US are hard to find, but apparently, the record for 24-hour precipiation is Alvin, Texas with over 43 inches in 24 hours on July 25-26, 1979, due to tropical storm Claudette. For shorter periods, “a world record rainfall occurred at Holt, Missouri on June 22, 1947 when it rained 12 inches in just 42 minutes. This averages to over 1/4 of an inch of rainfall per minute. On July 4th, 1956 In Unionville, Maryland 1.23 inches of rain fell in 1 minute.”
Update: Someone caught the funnel cloud on video the other day and uploaded it to YouTube—the internet is a wonderful tool. The video shows it was over the water and actually tounched the ocean, creating a waterspout: