Governor issues emergency order after severe Kauai rainfall

LIHUE, Kauai (AP) — Hawaii Gov. David Ige has called for an emergency response to the severe flooding on Kauai.

The governor issued an emergency proclamation for the island Sunday following the National Weather Service’s recording of almost 27 inches of rainfall in a 24-hour period in Hanalei.

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Kauai authorities searched by air on Sunday for residents in need of rescue. But Kauai County spokeswoman Sarah Blane said the helicopters were grounded when heavy rainfall continued. She said rescuers will continue rescue operations throughout the day as the weather allows.

Blane said county officials had to call in off-duty firefighters, police officers and lifeguards Saturday night to rescue about a half-dozen people who were trapped by rising floodwaters in Hanalei.

The Kauai Fire Department is coordinating with the Coast Guard and the Honolulu Fire Department to provide air and search and rescue operations on the North Shore.

The heavy rainfall damaged or flooded dozens of homes in Hanalei, Wainiha, Haena, and Anahola, the county said.

The American Red Cross has opened evacuation shelters at Kapaa Middle School, the Church of the Pacific in Princeville and at Hanalei Elementary School.

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About 40 people were staying at the shelter in Hanalei as of Sunday morning, said Coralie Chun Matayoshi, chief executive officer for the Red Cross in Hawaii.

There were no reports of injuries as of Saturday evening.

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