Wailapa Flood Photos

You may have heard about the flood tragedy on Kauai where a dam broke after heavy rains and washed an entire valley out to the ocean. Two people have been found dead and 5 more are missing, all from a house that was completely swept away by the wall of water and debris. Here’s one article about it in the newspaper.

I haven’t had time to blog about the circumstances of the dam break yet, but I went with a friend to take some pictures that I want to post ASAP (as soon as possible–for the non-English speakers). We took these photos about half a mile makai (towards the ocean) from where the flood crossed (and damaged) the main highway. The large versions of these photos are slightly larger and higher quality than usual.

Here is the property where we walked down to the Wailapa stream-bed. It’s at a bend in the stream near a reforested area, so the flood create a log-jam here and spread out onto several properties. The debris in the foreground is the high-water mark, the pile in the background is the log-jam:

Here is the log-jam made up of huge piles of broken tree trunks and branches. There were some pieces of housing material here and there. The further pile is about 30 feet (10 m) high. The house on the other side of the flooding was spared.

This is looking upstream, the flood-waters came directly towards this position. The reservoir is still draining, or they are pumping it out because normally this stream does not run. The main damage of the flood was that it uprooted trees which then caught on more trees, eventually ripping up small forests on its 3 mile run to the ocean.

This photo is looking downstream, where you can see the stream bends to the right, and the replanted forest straight ahead was leveled.

Printed from: http://great-hikes.com/blog/wailapa-flood-photos/.
© 2024.


  1. Mark says:

    Whoa! That looks worse that what happened when a reservoir sprung a big leak over on the Belledonne side of the valley last year and washed boulders down the river beds.

    Maybe this is only an effect of your photos, but compared to the terrain here your flood seems to have done as much damage on the flats as the flood here did on the hillside. There must’ve been lots of water.

  2. Aloha!

    I’m an alakai candidate of Huna International
    and a webmaster of Aloha International Japan
    whose URL is http://homepage2.nifty.com/ai_japan,
    as well as its blog, Aloha Talk, whose URL is
    written above.

    Thanks to Peggy, I knew about your blog which
    is full of wonderful information and pictures
    of Kaua’i.

    I’d like to exchange trackback pings with you,
    would like you to tell me how to do so (I can’t
    find trackback information).

    Appreciate your visit to my blog and website
    and writing comments, too, even though they
    are in Japanese.

    I’d love to translate your comments into Japanese so that Japanese visitors can understand.

    When you write a comment, please click “Comment”
    at the bottom of each writing and click the
    left button at the bottom in the section, then it turns to be in English.


RSS feed for comments on this post

Leave a Comment